Ottawa

Gatineau family unsure when they can leave Mexico following deadly crash

The family of the Gatineau, Que., woman who was killed in a Mexican bus crash Tuesday still doesn't know when her partner and children will be able to return home.

Mother Stephanie Horwood was one of a dozen people killed in the bus crash

Stephanie Horwood, 42, of Gatineau, Que., was killed in Tuesday's bus crash in eastern Mexico. Her partner, Fred Reinthaler, right, arrived home on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. (Facebook)

The family of the Gatineau, Que., woman who was killed in a Mexican bus crash Tuesday still doesn't know when her partner and children will be able to return home.

Stephanie Horwood, 42, was one of 12 people who died when a bus carrying tourists flipped onto a highway in eastern Mexico. Dozens of people were injured.

She was on a tour to see Mayan ruins with her partner, Fred Reinthaler, and two daughters, 9 and 11, about 175 kilometres south of Tulum.

Horwood's family members suffered only minor injuries, but Reinthaler has since developed a fever and is being monitored in a Mexican hospital, according to his mother, Carole Pommet. The family won't be able to return home to Gatineau's Aylmer district until his fever abates.

"I would really like to be with my son, because they have no family at all at the moment," said Pommet.

Pommet hopes the family will be able to catch a flight home to Gatineau tonight or tomorrow. 

Embassy worker takes care of children

She said the entire family is in shock over Horwood's death. The situation is even more stressful because the children are so far away from the rest of their family.

She said the girls saw their mother at the crash scene with a sheet over her body, but they didn't understand that it meant she died until a cruise line employee told them the news yesterday afternoon.

The girls are being looked after by an employee of the Canadian Embassy at the same hospital where their father is being treated.

Pommet said it makes her feel powerless that she can't hold them.

"I'm not there with my son and my little girls," she said.

'The most wonderful person'

The family will return to Canada as soon as Reinthaler's health will allow, but coming home will not be easy, especially during the holidays.
Stephanie Horwood, 42, was killed in a bus crash in eastern Mexico early Tuesday. Her partner and their two daughters were injured. (Facebook)

"He left with all his family, the four of them, and when he comes back one will be missing," Pommet said.

"We still cannot believe it, that she won't be here with us anymore."

We still cannot believe it, that she won't be here with us anymore.- Carole Pommet, Stephanie Horwood's mother-in-law

Meanwhile Horwood's family is making funeral arrangements in her home town of St. John's. 

"Our baby sister is gone," said Susan Dunn, Horwood's sister. 

Dunn said Horwood was the youngest of six siblings, and she was the light of her family.

"She was the most wonderful person you could ever meet," Dunn said. 

She said Horwood was a creative soul who was full of positivity. She wrote poetry and children's books that encouraged kids not to bully. 

Dunn said most importantly, Horwood "lived and breathed for her girls."

Horwood's body will be moved to St. John's for burial. A service will also be held in her memory in Quebec.