Witness Says Pickup Driver Said He Was Texting Before Crash

Kuchler says he spoke with the driver as he was pinned in his truck Wednesday moments after the collision with the bus carrying senior adults with First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas.

Dispatchers in Real County received a call from a woman who reported a truck was driving erratically on USA 83, county Constable Nathan Johnson said.

After tailing the truck for a half hour, Kuchler never imagined it would hit a bus full of senior citizens returning from a bus retreat.

Kuchler said he witnessed the crash and afterward, he checked on both the bus and the truck and was able to speak with the driver of the truck, who has been identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young, of Leakey.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry".

"You live life with folks and so you just share so many small interactions that add up to a relationship that impacts you and strengthens your heart", he said.

Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein declined to comment on Friday on the cause of the crash or if texting might have played a role. "I'm sorry, '" Kuchler quoted the pickup driver as saying. He now remains hospitalized.

DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez confirmed that the person died at a San Antonio hospital.

Two passengers from the bus and the driver of the pickup were taken to an area hospital in San Antonio, where they were admitted.

Marilee White, left, with sister Jaime White react outside First Baptist Church in New Braunfels, Texas, after several people who attended the church died in a two vehicle collision Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The owner had been given 30 days to correct the problems. The second passenger of the bus is still hospitalized and listed in critical condition.

The wreck occurred along a curve in the road where the speed limit is 65mph, according to officials.

The bus was equipped with seat belts, Morrison said.

The crash happened Wednesday outside Garner State Park, about 75 miles (120.7 km) west of San Antonio.

The National Transportation Safety Board team investigating the crash is trying to determine why those passengers died even though they were wearing seat belts. The same woman also called back to report the wreck. However, only the driver's seat and the front passenger seat had three-point lap and shoulder belts. Young ended up slamming into the church bus where 14 passengers ranging in ages from 61 to 87 were returning from a three-day retreat for Bible study.

The National Transportation Safety Board provided an update to their investigation of the deadly bus crash that killed 13 people.

"We are so grateful for the compassionate outpouring of support and prayers we have received since the tragic bus crash in which we lost 13 of our beloved church members", the First Baptist New Braunfels Church posted on Facebook Thursday. However, they were "ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy".

  • Larry Hoffman