The horrific train accident that happened last week in Ferrol, Spain has claimed another victim’s life. A 58-year-old U.S. citizen, who was badly injured in the train crash, has died. This means that the death toll has gone up to 79. Spain and Railway company Renfe still maintain that the driver of the train is to blame. The story came out earlier today that if Renfe does acknowledge that the train was at fault and not the driver they stand to lose EUR 13 Billion.
Myrta Lasalle Fariza was in the train because she was on her way to celebrate the day of the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela, her family confirmed. She just came from the wedding of her daughter which took place in Rome. Myrta and her husband had been sitting in car number seven when the collision occurred. She sustained head injuries and was rushed of to the hospital.
Fariza, who had been living in Houston for the past 35 years but who is originally from Moca, Puerto Rico, died early in the morning. She was hospitalised at the Complejo Hospitalario Universitario hospital in Santiago de Compostela.Brenda López, a family member of Myrta’s told the San Juan daily Primera Hora on Sunday: “Last night she took a turn for the worse and the doctors said there wasn’t anything more they could do for her.”
Of the 178 victims who sustained injuries and who were treated, 70 are still hospitalized, according to Galician government authorities, who add that 22 remain in critical condition.
Another U.S. citizen Ana María Ángel de Córdoba,sister of the Colombian television soap opera actor Gustavo Ángel, has died as well. Ana was there to visit her youngest son, coincidentally also called Santiago, who had completed the Saint James Way. De Córdoba has worked for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington as a benefits specialist for many years. Renfe, the railway company, was quick to blame the train driver. They had many reasons to do so. This is in their own best interest because if the driver isn’t found guilty than it must have been a problem with their train. If the train is to blame, Renfe can forget about the EUR’s 13 Billion dollar contract to build a high-speed rail link in Brazil.
It must be said that the train driver did give the railway company enough ammunition, to make him look like he had done the unthinkable. He liked to brag about how fast “his” train could go. He even had pictures up on Facebook showing that he was going very fast. However, he claims that he didn’t go over the limit and that it, wouldn’t be technically possible to do so. Therefore, it is really high time that the authorities investigate what is on the black box of the train in order to put all the speculations to bed, and to either exonerate the train driver or to establish his guilt.
Today the train driver Francisco Garzón, after he had spent the night in a cell of the Santiago de Compostela’s central police station, will be brought before a judge. He has been formally accused of manslaughter, which was caused by recklessness. He might face a 12 year jail sentence. However, there might be more to the story because Spain, and it’s railway company, is quick to blame the train driver. All of this doesn’t change the fact that sadly another U.S. citizen has died. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
By Georgina Pijttersen