A Clear Lake woman remembered by many as a second mother died Sunday of injuries from last week's deadly train crash in Spain.
Myrta Lasalle Fariza, 58, was traveling with her husband Robert in car No. 7 when the train derailed and tumbled in the crash Wednesday. After attending their daughter's wedding in Rome and visiting relatives in Zamora, the couple had just arrived in Santiago de Compostela to join more than 100,000 other Catholic pilgrims at Thursday's feast day for St. James.
The driver was formally charged Sunday for his role in the wreck that claimed 79 lives and injured more than 170 others. Francisco Garzon, 52, is accused of driving the train too fast through a tight curve.
Robert Fariza, who sustained minor injuries, told Spanish newspaper El Pais earlier this week that he saw the car veering off the rails and people rolling on the floor. Among them was his wife, who he said suffered severe injuries to her head.
Myrta Fariza, who was in critical condition after the wreck, died early Sunday at a hospital in Santiago de Compostela surrounded by family.
“To all who knew her, Myrta provided irreplaceable love, compassion, courage, friendship and support,” the family said in an email statement. “We will miss her dearly.”
“She's the type of person that puts everyone else's needs before their own,” Wiley said.
Son-in-law Brian Buerkett said Myrta's ability to find the good in people extended to her work as a juvenile probation worker for Harris County for more than 20 years and as an instructor for ESCAPE Family Resource Center, a non-profit working to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing parenting and life skills courses for at-risk families.
Buerkett said the family is grateful for the expressions of support.
“Prayer is the most important thing right now,” Buerkett said. “Myrta is a faith-driven person, and that's what she'd want now.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.