Witness: Driver admitted to texting while driving before bus crash that killed 13

Emergency calls obtained by Defenders


CONCAN, Texas – A witness to a deadly wreck in Uvalde County involving a church minibus said the driver of a pickup truck that crossed the center line repeatedly apologized and acknowledged he had been texting while driving.

Jody Kuchler told The Associated Press on Friday that he was driving behind the truck and had seen it being driven erratically prior to the collision on a rural two-lane road about 75 miles west of San Antonio.

Kuchler said 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.

Kuchler says he told the driver, "Son, do you know what you just did?" He says the driver responded by repeatedly apologizing.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the driver as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young.

Thirteen people on the bus were killed and the lone survivor remained hospitalized Friday.

The Real County Sheriff's Office on Friday released emergency calls from witnesses moments before the pickup truck crashed into the church bus.

The calls were obtained by the Defenders.

Law enforcement officials said they received phone calls about a person in a white pickup truck driving erratically shortly before the deadly collision.

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.