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Two Netflix series actors die in Mexico after van crashes

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Two actors on the Netflix series “The Chosen One” were killed and six other cast or crew members were injured after the van they were riding in crashed on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Local media reported the crash occurred Thursday, and said the van flipped after running off the road in a desert area near Mulege, southeast of Santa Rosalia on the Gulf of California coast. The crew had apparently been working in the Santa Rosalia area at the time.

For the record:

5:59 p.m. June 18, 2022An earlier version of this story said that Faisal Lutchmedial’s film “Beneath Us” was released in 2019. It was released in 2021.

The Baja California Department of Culture said Friday that Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar died.

“I am absolutely devastated,” the Toronto-based screenwriter Faisal Lutchmedial wrote on Twitter. González, also known by his stage name Paco Mufote, was a “brilliant actor and musician,” he wrote.

“He was universally loved from what I saw in the community, and I really felt blessed for him to be a part of my tiny film,” Lutchmedial wrote. The two worked together on Lutchmedial’s 2021 film, “Beneath Us.”

Dozens of people posted their condolences on González’s Facebook page. Some thanked him for his friendship and the artistic guidance he had offered them. “It was a pleasure to share the stage and it was a privilege to know you as a human being,” said a woman in one post.

Several posters called for an investigation into the accident. One person said that actors on the set had complained about transportation issues, including tired drivers.

Netflix declined to comment. But according to a person with knowledge of the situation who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly, the production has been paused.

Mexican actor Fernando Bonilla wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening that he had just learned of the death of his friend, Garduño. “I’m devastated,” he wrote. “Ray was an actor, director and culture manager that adopted Tijuana as his home.”

Netflix describes “The Chosen One” series as “A 12-year-old boy learns he’s the returned Jesus Christ, destined to save humankind. Based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and Peter Gross.”

According to casting calls, the series is being taped by an independent production company.

A spokeswoman for SAG-AFTRA said the union has been in touch with Netflix and the Mexican actors union. “On set safety is always our top priority. We will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that our members and others are safe in their workplace.”

Miller reported from Mexico City, Sokoui and Dolan from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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