Truck driver admitted texting and driving caused deadly bus crash, witness says
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 16:28
Pastor Brad McLean said his congregation is in shock following the crash, but "finds peace" knowing his "members are with the Lord".
Church officials said in a statement on the First Baptist website that they are ministering to the families who were expecting their loved ones to return home.
McLean says some of the victims had been church members for years and had previously participated in mission trips together.
The group was returning from a three-day retreat Wednesday when their small bus collided with a pickup truck that authorities say had drifted across the center line. Another bus passenger died at a San Antonio hospital.
A witness to a deadly Texas wreck involving a church minibus says the driver of a pickup truck that crossed the center line repeatedly apologized and acknowledged he had been texting while driving.
Uvalde police Lt. Daniel Rodriguez says a man called around noon Wednesday to report the erratic truck heading north on USA 83. "Deputies were dispatched, but before they could reach the area, the same caller called 911 to report that the truck had been in an accident". The same woman also called back to report the accident.
None of the funeral arrangements have been finalized, First Baptist New Braunfels told Baptist Press.
Seventeen people died in 2008 when a charter bus crashed in North Texas near the Oklahoma border, and 23 nursing home residents being evacuated from the Houston area as Hurricane Rita approached in 2005 were killed when their charter bus caught fire near Dallas. DPS identified him as 67-year-old Murray William Barrett of New Braunfels, a San Antonio suburb. Two years ago, she moved to New Braunfels to be closer to her daughter.
While his girlfriend filmed the truck on her phone, Kuchler made several calls to local sheriffs' departments to urge police to get the driver off the road. The driver and front-seat passenger had typical three-point seat belts; all other passengers had lap belts, she said. There were 14 total aboard the bus.
"We have received word that the bus carrying our senior adults back from their retreat was involved in an accident".
The next call to emergency officials reported the crash between the minibus and the pickup truck. The accident happened on a curve where the speed limit is 65, but the cause of the accident is still under investigation, authorities said.
Another DPS spokesman, Lt. Johnny Hernandez, was more circumspect Thursday, saying the collision remains under investigation.
Most - if not all - of the occupants of a bus transporting churchgoers from a retreat in Texas were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, according to the NTSB. I was texting". I said, "Son, do you know what you just did?' He said, 'I'm sorry.
Morrison also said the bus was the body and chassis of a 2004 Fort Econoline van converted into a small bus by Turtle Top.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators to the crash scene.
Gov. Greg Abbott sent his condolences to the victims' families. The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators on Thursday to start looking into the crash, which occurred about 12:25 p.m. outside Garner State Park, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of San Antonio.
In this aerial image made from a video provided by KABB/WOAI authorities respond to a deadly crash involving a van carrying church members and a pickup truck on US 83 outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County, Texas, Wed.
Sgt. Orlando Moreno of the public safety department told reporters that 12 people, including the bus driver, died at the scene.