SA pastor, wife killed in head-on crash in West Texas; son hospitalized

Chengju Huo was pastor at Chinese United Methodist of San Antonio since 2016

Courtesy: Runnels County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Runnels County Sheriff's Office

SAN ANTONIO – A husband and wife from San Antonio were killed when a driver merged into their lane on a state highway and crashed into their car head-on in Runnels County near San Angelo, Texas.

The fatal accident occurred July 31 just after 1 p.m. southeast of the town of Ballinger, Texas, which is more than three hours away northwest of San Antonio.

Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety identified the victims as Chengju Huo, 51, Huixiang Zhang, 46, and Taron Gipson, 22, of Calvert, Texas.

DPS said Huo and Zhang were pronounced dead at the scene. Gipson was taken to the Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, where he later died.

Courtesy: Runnels County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy: Runnels County Sheriff's Office

The Huo family’s 17-year-old son, David Huo, was also in the vehicle and rushed to the Shannon Medical Center with a serious injury. His condition as of Thursday was not released by DPS.

DPS said the accident occurred when Gipson was traveling southbound on state highway 158 in his 2018 Chevrolet Cruze when he veered off the road, turned back onto the highway and crashed head-on with Huo’s 2015 Ford Escape.

According to DPS troopers, Chengju Huo was the driver of the Escape and Gipson was alone in his vehicle. The Huo family was wearing their seatbelts and Gipson was not, troopers said.

According to the Chinese United Methodist of San Antonio’s website, Chengju Huo was appointed as pastor of the church by the Rio Texas Annual Conference in July 2016.

In a post shared to UMC Las Misiones Facebook page, friends including Rev. Laura Merrill, assistant to the conference’s bishop, shared their condolences and prayers for victims involved in the accident.

Prayers for the families. Runnels County Communications 9-1-1, Ballinger PD, TxDot, Ballinger EMS, Ballinger VFD, TXDPS and Sheriff's Office all working together at crash scene.

Posted by Runnels County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, August 2, 2018

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