CONCAN, Texas – Law enforcement officials in two counties say they received phone calls about a person in a white pickup truck driving erratically shortly before a deadly collision between a church bus and a pickup left 13 people dead.
Uvalde police Lt. Daniel Rodriguez said a man called about 12:02 p.m. Wednesday to report the swerving truck heading north on U.S. 83 and to ask deputies to respond. Deputies were dispatched, but Rodriguez said the same caller called back about 12:30 p.m. to say the truck had been in a collision.
Real County Constable Nathan Johnson also said that a woman called their county dispatch to report a truck matching the description was driving erratically in the same area shortly before the accident. The same woman also called back to report the accident.
The 13 people killed and another who was severely injured in the crash Wednesday were members of a New Braunfels church.
As National Transportation Safety Board investigators begin the slow process of sifting through the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash, here's everything we know about the fatal crash:
- The wreck between a small church bus and a pickup truck happened about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County, about 75 miles west of San Antonio.
- The bus was carrying a group of senior adults from the First Baptist Church in New Braunfels. The group was returning from a church retreat at a camp near Leakey, Texas.
- Fourteen people were on board the church bus. Thirteen were killed in the crash; the fourteenth remains at San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition.
- Their names are:
- The driver of the pickup truck was injured in the crash, as well. He has been identified as Jack Dillon Young, 20, of Leakey (airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio and is stable)
- The area where the wreck happened is outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County. It is about 75 miles (120.7 km) west of San Antonio.
- The bus was a 2004 Turtle Top, a line of shuttle buses with capacities ranging from 17 to 51 passengers, which the company bills as "a great alternative to the standard 15-passenger van."
- Safety concerns have long surrounded the 15-passenger vans, also frequently used by churches and other groups, with advocates saying they can be difficult to control in an emergency.
- The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene early Thursday to begin seeking the cause of the crash.
- New Braunfels First Baptist Church Pastor Brad McLean held a press conference Thursday afternoon, thanking the New Braunfels community for their support. "I remember the smiles," he said. "I remember the hugs. I remember the couples coming in together." He said the church is doing what they should: grieving and praying.
Below is a timeline of major bus crashes across Texas over the past decade: