Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another Bus Tragedy, East of Chacala

I don't get a morning newspaper in Chacala. Or phone messages, or regular mail. When I first moved to Chacala, it felt really strange to open the door and find no phone, no messages, no mail, no newspaper, and no email. I never did miss TV. Still don't. But I really miss easy access to reading materials. I especially liked reading the Sunday morning papers: the New York Times, Seattle PI, and the local rag.And at first, I missed checking my phone messages, and my mail. Especially magazines. Gardening and travel magazines in particular. I had one of those mail slots in my front door. I could tell when I had received magazines because I would would have to push the door open to get in the house.But I've grown accustomed to my no-mail, no-phone, no-paper life. I think I even prefer it. And now I am totally addicted to email and the internet. And blogging. And I still have a kitty meowing her welcome to me. Different kitty, Same meow.

Instead, now I get an email summary every morning of the Mexico news, as published in English-language sources. I read other news sources too, of course, but this a quicky summary.
This morning the lead articles was:

"A crash between a bus and a truck left at least 15 people dead and 28 injured Friday on a highway in western Mexico, authorities said. Three children are among the dead and 11 more among the injured. Civil Protection authorities in the state of Jalisco said the bus was travelling from Guadalajara to Guayabitos and carried 43 passengers when it hit the truck, which was transporting salt ."

If those numbers are correct, everyone on that bus is either dead or injured. It must have been a bad one. The accident happened somewhere on the road between here and Guadalajara. Up on the other side of Compostella. Of the Nayarit/Jalisco state line. It was a tourist bus, probably full of families off for a beach weekend. The saddest thing is that this is not unusual news.Last month the driver of a Vallarta Plus bus drove off the toll road on the way to Guadalajara. It wasn't a traffic accident. No other vehicle involved. According to the news, he was driving much too fast, and flew of the road, killing at least 18 people and injuring many more. The passengers had been on an air flight from the U.S. to Guadalajara. A big industrial fire near the Guadalajara airport made it impossible to land there. So the plane landed in Puerto Vallarta. The passengers were then bussed to Guadalajara. Well, actually the bus and many of the passengers never made in to Guadalajara.Every time I read one of the these stories, I think, "No more bus rides." But what's the alternative? There aren't any, really. Private cars are just as dangerous, gringo-driven or otherwise. Just look at all the flower covered roadside memorials along every highway in Mexico. The section between San Pancho and Brucerias, is filled with these sad reminders of what can happen.

I keep thinking that most of those passengers knew what was coming. When that bus sped off the highway, into the air, most people must have known that this was it. No way out. I can't imagine what it was like the last seconds before the actual crash. Especially on the bus that flew thru the air first.

I imagine that very few of the passengers in the collision crash knew what was coming until the actual impact. Maybe the people in the first seats, and those that heard their screams. A lot of those tourist buses travel at night. If you spend the first and last night of your vacation sleeping on the bus you save two nights rent at the beach hotel. I wonder how long it took to get help for the injured. Never mind. This is too awful.
On that cheery note, I will go out and eat breakfast. It just started raining, at 8:00am. It's very unusual to rain during the day in Chacala. It rained most of the night too. Cooled things off a bit. My guess is that this is last week of the rainy season.

But who knows? Five years ago Hurricane Kenna arrived in Chacala October 25th. I am in SUCH an optimistic mood this morning.

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