A South Sound couple was among the 12 people who died in a bus crash in southeastern Mexico on Tuesday.
Local educators Jody Fritz and Andy Fritz, both 51, were traveling by bus from a cruise ship to Mayan ruins. The Associated Press reports that the bus’s driver lost control on a narrow highway, causing the bus to flip and strike a tree.
In total, eight Americans, two Swedes, a Canadian and a Mexican tour guide died as a result of the crash.
Andy Fritz was an environmental science instructor at Clover Park Technical College, and well known in the South Sound running community. His blog, found at mummydust.blogspot.com, details all of his races since 1995.
In September, Jody Fritz had begun her first school year as assistant principal at Sand Hill Elementary near Belfair. Dana Rosenbach, superintendent of the North Mason School District, said that despite her short time with the district, Jody Fritz was already well liked and considered a valuable part of the team.
“She was just a down-to-earth person who was committed to the education of children,” Rosenbach said.
Jody Fritz grew up in Mason County, graduating from Shelton High School, according to a September article in the Kitsap Sun. She met her husband in Massachusetts, and the couple moved with their two sons to Olympia in 1998. Jody Fritz previously worked for Yelm Community Schools.
The couple recently purchased a home on Hood Canal.
Andy and Jody Fritz were among 31 passengers on the Mexican tour bus that crashed Tuesday. The bus was heading to to the ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum, when it crashed on the Mahahual-Cafetal Highway in the southern part of Quintana Roo, according to the Washington Post.
Quintana Roo state prosecutor Miguel Angel Pech Cen said the crash was likely caused by the bus driver’s negligence, according to the Associated Press. He was taken into custody.