VERACRUZ, Mexico – A bus that careened off a highway and into a 650-foot ravine, killing 58 people, crashed because the driver mistakenly steered the vehicle onto a paved road while trying to maneuver into an emergency lane.
Mechanical failure contributed to the crash, but the driver ultimately caused the Monday morning crash when he tried to steer the bus into a lane designed for vehicles with brake failure while descended a winding mountain highway, according to Federal Preventative Police commander Camilo Castagne.
Instead of choosing a gravel route that might have slowed the bus, the driver, Gustavo Hernandez, who was among those killed, mistakenly followed a paved road that did little to reduce speeds.
One of three people who survived the crash died on Tuesday, bringing the total number of those killed to 58. Two girls, ages 8 and 15, remained hospitalized.
The bus plowed through a metal guard rail before falling 650 to 820 feet and crashing into the ravine in Veracruz state, about 125 miles east of the capital.
It was among the worst crashes in recent memory in Mexico, where bus accidents that claim dozens of lives are common.
The bus, equipped to hold 46 passengers, was carrying 60, some of whom were standing.
He did say this before the stuff about the driver but investigations are still ongoing so it still stands.
Ranulfo Marquez, Veracruz's deputy director of civil protection, said the bus had been on the road for 22 years and should not have been allowed to operate. It had already traveled for more than 10 hours as it returned to Tabasco from an Easter week gathering near the western city of Guadalajara.
Veracruz Gov. Fidel Herrera discounted the possibility that the winding highway contributed to the crash.
"The section of highway is in perfect condition, the visibility is excellent," he said. "But we are awaiting the results of the investigation."
Police said the passengers belonged to two religious groups.
Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans filled the highways Sunday and Monday as they returned from Easter week vacations. The holiday typically sees a large number of highway deaths.