A Quebec City woman recuperating in a Mexican hospital was coming to terms Wednesday with the tragic news that her husband was among three Canadians killed in a horrific bus crash that police say involved a drunk truck driver.
Robert Lacas, 56, was living his dream by taking a six-month working holiday with his wife Line Carrier, 55, when he was killed Monday after the bus was hit head-on by a tractor-trailer in a rural area of northern Mexico.
From her room in Hospital Magisterio in Saltillo, in Coahuila state, Carrier said she was being treated for fractures. While she made no mention of her husband when contacted the day before, on Wednesday she said, ''I've had news my husband has died.''
Carrier added she planned to return to Canada as soon as she could and said, physically, ''it's going a little bit better.''
Two cousins, Carolyn Kowaleski, 64, of Caledonia, Ont., and Marilyn Jackson, 67, of Vancouver, also died in the crash that claimed at least 11 lives, including several American tourists and the bus driver.
Carrier is among four Canadians, including Kowaleski's husband Randy, who were injured.
Karen Lait, 58, and her husband Jim, 60, of Burlington, Ont., were recovering at Hospital Muguerza, also in Saltillo.
''I'm alive, so there, I'm OK - I'm one of the fortunate ones,'' Karen Lait said.
She and her husband were being well taken care of but haven't spoken since they called out to each other ''just to know that we're OK'' in the hallway before his surgery, she said.
A hospital spokeswoman said Jim Lait remained in stable condition, but said it was too early to know when he would be released.Lait added she's worried about Randy Kowaleski, who is in intensive care at a nearby hospital.
''I haven't seen anybody. My friend is at a different hospital, so I hope he's OK,'' Lait said.
''But it's more than that. He's lost his wife, so I'm just really feeling horrible.''
Kyra Duerta, a spokeswoman for Hospital de la Concepcion, said Wednesday that Kowaleski remained in stable condition and was still in intensive care.
Lait said she doesn't remember the crash but called it a random incident that will not deter her from similar trips in the future.
''It could happen anywhere; you can't quit doing things,'' she said. ''I've been in other accidents before so it's not the first time things have happened.''
Lait has been passing the time trying to learn Spanish at the hospital while she's being treated for a broken nose. She's was also waiting to talk with her husband so they can discuss what to do next.
''The TV here is in English with Spanish subtitles, so that could help,'' she said.
Lait and her husband were on what was supposed to be a four-day trip to Mexico from Texas.
Kowaleski's son-in-law, Doug Hall, said his family is ''hurting pretty badly'' and trying to stay strong for Kowaleski, who was part of a tour group of mostly retirees en route to Zacatecas from McAllen, Texas.
''We've lost two already and yet we're trying to stay strong for Randy,'' Hall said from the family home in Caledonia.