LORTON, Va. - A mother and son from Fairfax County were among the 12 people killed in a tour bus crash in Mexico.
Anna Behar was on a trip in Mexico as part of a birthday gift to her husband. The couple was there along with their two sons and Anna’s mother, Fanya Shamis.
Anna and her 11-year-old son Daniel are not coming back home from this trip as they were part of 31 people onboard a bus carrying passengers of a cruise ship who were taking a day trip to Mayan ruins on Tuesday. The bus flipped about 30 minutes into the drive.
Officials say driver negligence and speed were to blame.
Anna’s husband and older son survived the crash and are now left to pick up the pieces. When they return home to Lorton, they will find a close-knit group of friends and neighbors waiting for them.
Friends of the family are devastated about the tragic deaths and they remember Anna as a strong, adventurous woman, and her son as a sweet boy who loved learning about space and playing soccer.
“Anna had a bigger than life personality,” said family friend Phyllis Martin. “A tremendous greeting when you would see her at the door. You could hear her. If she knew you were coming and you knocked on the door, you could hear her through the house yelling because she would be so excited.
“She is part of a tight group of nine women. Very, very adventurous. She went all over D.C. She went all over the world. She traveled. She took her kids everywhere. She wanted to show them everything.”
Daniel was a sixth grade student at Laurel Hill Elementary School in Lorton.
“I watched the kid grow up his entire life,” said Brett Meincke. “He’s very energetic, very happy. He was always quick with a joke and makes everyone laugh at times. He was a very sincere kid. He always tries to find the best in people.”
“He was always trying to make people laugh and he was just the life of the party,” said Morgan Johnson.
Royal Caribbean said they are doing everything they can with medical care and transportation for those who were injured in the crash.
Friends and loved ones of the Behar family said they are concerned about how they will get Anna and Daniel’s remains back to Virginia. They are hoping it will not be a difficult process and want a smooth transition as they try to bring them home and lay them to rest.