- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PIEDRAS NEGRAS, MEXICO (AP) - A tractor-trailer slammed into a bus carrying Canadian and U.S. tourists on a northern Mexico highway, killing 11, officials said Tuesday.

Local officials said eight Americans are among the dead, and the U.S. Embassy has confirmed the identities of four, spokeswoman Liz Detter said. The Embassy could not release their names because next of kin had not been notified.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to all those killed and injured in this tragedy,” Detter said.

Alberto de la Rosa Vizcaino, Civil Protection director in the city of Saltillo, said three Canadians were killed in Monday’s crash.

Canadian foreign affairs spokesman Alain Cacchione said Canadians were involved in the crash but he declined to provide further details for privacy reasons.

One of those killed was Ana Maria Bujanos, a middle-school reading teacher from Brownsville, Texas.

Her husband, Chris Bujanos, said a friend told him Tuesday morning after hearing his wife named as one of the victims on the radio, and a U.S. consulate representative called him to confirm her death.

“Tomorrow would have been our 33rd wedding anniversary, that’s why I’m taking it so hard,” Bujanos said.

Ana Maria Bujanos, 56, who taught at Cummings Middle School in Brownsville, was traveling to Zacatecas with another teacher from Harlingen during their spring break.

She had taken similar trips for years, her husband said. The bus picked them up in Harlingen on Monday morning and was scheduled to return Thursday evening, he said.

Coahuila state police commander Armando Santana said 11 people were killed in the crash and 15 injured. The injured were taken to three hospitals in Coahuila.

Santana said the bus was carrying retirees from McAllen, Texas, to the northern state of Zacatecas. Detter said 19 Americans were on board.

The truck driver apparently lost control and swerved into the bus’s lane on a highway outside Saltillo, Santana said. He said the bus driver was killed and the truck driver was among the injured.

Duane DeBruyne, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said his agency is supporting an investigation.

“The Mexican state and local police will be the lead authorities,” DeBruyne said.


Associated Press writers Christopher Sherman in McAllen, Texas, and Alexandra Olson in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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