MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man’s dream vacation turned into a waking nightmare after his loved ones were among 12 people killed in a tour bus crash in Mexico. One week later, the survivor with South Florida ties is addressing the family tragedy.
Speaking with 7News from his hospital bed via FaceTime, Moises Behar said he asks himself why he was spared and his family was not. “Why me? Why did I survive and not them?” he said.
Behar’s life was changed forever last Tuesday, when he lost his wife Anna, his 11-year-old son Daniel and his 78-year-old mother-in-law, Fanya Shamis, who was a Coconut Creek resident.
The tragedy, which took place in Quintana Roo, made Behar reflect on how precarious life can be. “Don’t take life for granted. Live every day and make sure that your loved ones are cared for and they know that you care for them,” he said.
The Behars, who live in Northern Virginia, were on a cruise ship vacation aboard Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Equinox. They were among the tourists heading to Mayan ruins when the deadly accident happened.
Behar and his teenage son David survived. “My faith right now is … Realize — my 15-year-old son — if he would not have survived, I don’t know what I would have done,” he said.
The survivor’s message of gratitude is clear, as he continues to recover at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was airlifted after the accident.
“The standards of safety are not the same overseas,” said Behar.
Behar said he heard David calling out to him after the impact. “And that was the first voice I heard, ‘Dad! Dad! Are you OK?'” he said. “I was lying on the floor, trying to look for my wife, whom I never found.”
Behar then raced to help Daniel, but was unable to render aid. The boy died in Behar’s arms.
Behar said the tragedy has left him torn apart. “And the answer might come tomorrow, a week, a year, a decade or who knows?” he said.
The survivor nevertheless feels his departed wife and son by his side, giving him the strength to journey forward, despite the questions. “They are present in my mind, in my soul and in my heart every single waking moment of my life, before and after the accident,” he said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Behars. If you would like to make a donation, click here.