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Man who saw deadly church bus, pickup truck crash unfold describes what he saw

Video of truck swerving before deadly crash with bus released to KSAT


SAN ANTONIO – Video was released to KSAT 12 showing the driver of a pickup who was apparently distracted just minutes before a crash that left 13 seniors in a church bus dead.

The man who alerted law enforcement to the swerving truck and who saw the crash was the first person on the scene.

The video showed the white Dodge pickup swerving side to side on U.S. 83. Jody Kuchler called the Real County Sheriff’s Office dispatch as his girlfriend took the video.

“Both of our concerns was him hitting somebody head-on. I was more worried about him hitting kids,” Kuchler 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. He said he saw the whole thing and tried to help.

“The man in the front seat passenger side, he's got, caught his eyes, looked at me. I was walking up, and then he looked back down to the floorboard and he died,” Kuchler said.

Kuchler said there were bodies everywhere.

“I wish I hadn’t seen it,” he said.

Kuchler then spoke to the man behind the wheel of the white pickup, who police identified as 20-year-old Jack Young.

Kuchler said Young told him he was texting and driving.

"I think my mind kind of went blank. I didn't know what to think. You can't be texting and driving for that long,” Kuchler said. “I mean, you just cost 13 people's lives. You’re talking about grandmothers, grandfathers, there was a husband and wife on that same bus together, somebody told me at one point in their life they made the comment when they died they wanted to die together, they got their wish on that one."

Video Courtesy: Thania Sanchez:

Late Friday afternoon, federal investigators said most, and possibly all, of the 14 people aboard the bus were wearing seat belts when the crash happened. However, only the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat had three-point lap and shoulder belts. The rest of the seats only had lap belts.

The National Transportation Safety Board team investigating the crash is trying to determine why those passengers died even though they were wearing seat belts. 

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