A scene from the wreckage following Thursday's accident. Some of the wreckage in Thursday's accident.

Six people killed in 57-vehicle accident

A tragic week: another 15 died in two other crashes

It has been a tragic Christmas for the victims and families of three serious motor vehicle accidents in three different regions of Mexico.

Heavy fog has been blamed for a 57-vehicle pile-up on the Circuito Exterior Mexiquense in the Estado de México municipality of Teoloyucan in which six people died Thursday morning.

Traffic on the Querétaro-bound side of the highway was delayed for seven hours while authorities investigated the accident and cleared the wreckage of cars, buses and tractor-trailers. Twenty-five people were injured.

Four of the dead belonged to the Ramírez family, who were leaving Ciudad Neza to spend Christmas in Guanajuato. The only survivor was Guadalupe Pérez Ramírez, 46, who lost her husband, two sons and her mother when their Honda Civic was caught in the midst of the multi-vehicle accident.

It was struck by a tractor-trailer from behind and hurled into the oncoming lane where it collided with another tractor-trailer.

Jimena Rocha and her family were more fortunate — only their car was damaged. She said they were traveling slowly due to the fog, which was so thick they could not see the vehicle in front of them.

Suddenly there was a grinding noise and they felt the impact of their vehicle striking the one in front, followed by that of the one behind as it hit their own.

Witnesses have said that while fog was one contributor, excessive speed on the part of a tractor-trailer driver was another.

High speed has also been blamed for an accident in Veracruz on Wednesday in which 11 passengers aboard a tourist bus were killed after the driver reportedly lost control.

The Viajes Tours bus was carrying 40 passengers from Puebla to Chiapas when the accident occurred on the Las Choapas-Ocozocoautla freeway. Eight passengers were injured.

Another bus accident earlier in the week in Sinaloa killed four and injured 22 after the driver apparently attempted to race a train to a railway crossing, and lost.

The driver was among those killed in the accident, which took place in the Cerritos area of Mazatlán. A video released by authorities shows the bus wasn’t even halfway across the tracks when it was broadsided by the high-speed train.

Source: El Universal (sp), Excélsior (sp), Milenio (sp), Sin Embargo (sp)

A video camera caught the moment the train struck the bus as it crossed the tracks.

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