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Houston Woman One Of 79 Killed In Fatal Spain Train Crash

The aftermath of the horrific train wreck in northern Spain has reached home in Houston, claiming the life of 58-year-old Myrta LaSalle Fariza. She had called the Houston-area home for the past 35 years and was originally from Puerto Rico.

Fariza was onboard the passenger train that derailed last week after taking a corner at substantially greater speed than was safe. Witnesses reported hearing the driver confess to going too fast but being unable to stop the train after the crash. The conductor of the train has since been charged with reckless homicide in the fatal train accident, and faces one criminal count for each passenger who was killed and likely additional counts for those who were injured.

The black box recorders on the train have been recovered by Spanish officials, but there is no word on how long it will take to complete an analysis of the events leading up to the crash or to figure out why the conductor was traveling at such a high rate of speed. The driver was tested for drugs and alcohol following the crash, but according to initial reports, nothing impairing was found in his system.

The Fariza’s were reportedly in Europe to celebrate their daughter’s wedding and were headed to Santiago de Compostela, the site of the train wreck, to observe the Day of the Apostle. One hundred seventy-eight people were injured in the Spanish train crash; 70 are still in the hospital, receiving treatment for their injuries.

Source: New York Daily News, “Spain train crash death toll now set at 79 as Houston woman dies; driver is formally charged,” July 28, 2013

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