(Photo: Reuters/Oscar Corral)
A second American has died in the Spain train crash as the death toll from the high speed rail disaster hits 79.
The two American women killed in the accident have been identified as Ana-Maria Cordoba of Arlington, Virginia and Myrta Fariza from Houston, Texas who was in the hospital but succumbed to her injuries and died over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the driver of the train has been charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide, a judge ruled on Sunday night.
Francisco Garzon, 52, who was arrested in the aftermath of the shocking train crash, is suspected of driving the train at more than twice the permitted speed as it went through a tight bend on the outskirts of the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela.
Garzon has been charged with "79 counts of homicide and numerous offences of bodily harm, all of them committed through professional recklessness," the court has confirmed in a statement.
Local media sources have reported that Garzon told the judge in a private hearing that he admits to having drove the train too fast, and blames the incident on a momentary lapse.
Garzon has since been released but must check in regularly with the court, as well as surrender his passport to officials, and is prohibited from driving any trains. He is not thought to be a flight risk, and none of the parties involved in the incident asked for him to be jailed pending his trial.
The tragedy occurred on Wednesday night at approximately 8.41 p.m. local time, when an eight-carriage train traveled too fast into a curve and derailed, slamming into a concrete side wall. Some of the carriages crumpled in the crash, and some cars even caught fire, as passengers were thrown around the carriages.
One of the carriages was thrown several meters into the air over an embankment, according to eye witnesses.
So far 79 people have been confirmed as dead, including the two American women.
Reports also claim that 70 other people remain hospitalized with serious injuries, and 22 of those are in critical condition, including a number of children.
Garzon has been a driver for 10 years, and he himself suffered head injuries from the crash, but was released from hospital on Saturday, and taken straight into police custody until his hearing on Sunday night.
Here is a video of the Spain train crash that has killed 79 people: