SAN ANTONIO – A family member who lost a loved one in a church bus crash in Uvalde County in 2017 is speaking out for the first time.
Addie Schmeltekopf, 84, was one of the 13 who died in the crash last March. The man accused of crashing into the bus head-on, Jack Dillon Young, remains out on bond.
“You just never fathom something like this would happen. This is something that happens to other people, said Peggy Grantham, Schmeltekopf’s daughter, who lives in Florida.
Grantham remembers the exact moment she received the call telling her of her mother’s death on March 29, 2017.
Schmeltekopf was one of two victims who were airlifted from the scene on Highway 83 near Concan in Uvalde County. The 84-year-old mother of five didn’t make it.
Only one of the 14 people on the bus survived the crash.
The group of seniors aboard the bus was on its way home to New Braunfels after attending a church retreat not far from the crash site.
Young is accused of driving his truck head-on into the bus. He was allegedly texting and driving, and he had allegedly taken prescription pills before the crash.
“Who takes a sleeping pill in the middle of the day?” Grantham said.
Last week, Young was arrested again for allegedly violating his pretrial release. Court documents state that he tested positive for marijuana.
Young was released again on two bonds with a combined worth of $30,000. Grantham said she doesn’t agree with that.
“It doesn’t make any sense, the justice system,” Grantham said. “I want him to say, ‘I’m responsible for those deaths,’ and I want him to feel for that responsibility.”
Grantham said she and her siblings will continue to fight for their mother and the other 12 people who were killed in the crash.
Young is due in court later this month.