Charges Pending for Driver in Mexico Bus Crash

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SALTILLO, Mexico (March 18, 2009)—Charges were pending Wednesday in Mexico against a 23-year-old drunken trucker who lost control of his rig, which slammed into a bus carrying Canadians and Americans touring northern Mexico, killing 11 people.

The dead include seven Americans, three Canadians and the Mexican bus driver.

Sixteen others were hurt, some seriously.

Detective Jose Angel Herrera in Coahuila state said the tractor-trailer driver lost control of the rig Monday, swerved, and then overcompensated.

The 18-wheeler crashed into the bus.

State prosecutors said urine tests indicated that truck driver Julio Cesar Garcia was driving under the influence of alcohol, and estimated that he may have drunk four to five beers before the crash.

No charges have been filed against him yet, but Coahuila state Detective Jose Angel Herrera said the driver would be charged with involuntary homicide.

The passengers were on a four-day tour of Zacatecas and Real de Catorce.

One of those killed was Ana Maria Bujanos, 56, a reading teacher from Cummings Middle School in Brownsville.

Her husband, Chris learned of her death from a friend who had seen a news report.

"I was crushed. I was absolutely crushed because (of) my loss, but more so (Wednesday) would have been our 33rd anniversary."

Also among the dead were Rebecca Pemelton of Harlingen and Ronald Christy of Iowa.

Christy’s wife Maggie survived the crash.

The company that owns the bus issued a statement expressing condolences.

“Grupo Senda is doing its best to assist every passenger that has been hospitalized and working with the families of the deceased in order to transport the victims of this unfortunate accident to their hometowns,” the company said.

The company said it is paying all hospital and medical bills of the injured.

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