Published: Sun, April 02, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Truck driver in Texas crash that killed 13 was texting

Thirteen church members were killed in the accident. Fellow members remembered them as regulars who served in the kitchen, led Bible studies and spent time in fellowship.

"For reasons unknown, the truck veered into the southbound lane and struck the bus head-on", Moreno said.

Kuchler told the newspaper he tried furiously to alert authorities that Young was weaving across highway lanes, fearing a head-on crash might result.

A witness to a deadly Texas wreck involving a church minibus says the driver of a pickup truck that crossed the center line repeatedly apologized and acknowledged he had been texting while driving.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of acres planted in wheat this year will be the lowest on record and much of that will be planted instead to soybeans which will be at a record high of 89.5.

Dispatchers in Real County received a call from a woman who reported a truck was driving erratically on US 83, county Constable Nathan Johnson said. The truck driver is stable. Most were in their own cars but 14 people rode together in a church mini-bus. DPS identified him as 67-year-old Murray William Barrett of New Braunfels, a San Antonio suburb.

"We're aware of many different claims and they will be part of the investigation", Morrison said regarding media reports that the driver, Jack Dillon Young, admitted to texting prior to the crash.

Authorities said Thursday that the church members who died in the Wednesday crash ranged in age from 61 to 87. Kuchler said he witnessed the crash and checked on both the bus and the truck afterward. The area is about 75 miles (120.7 km) west of San Antonio. Authorities have not said whether the bus carrying the senior adults was equipped with restraints.

The wreck occurred along a curve in the road where the speed limit is 65 miles per hour, DPS Sgt. Orlando Moreno said.

Hernandez was more circumspect early Thursday, saying only that the collision remains under investigation.

The church says its members were returning from a three-day retreat.

The Texas Department of Transportation is launching a "Talk, Text, Crash" campaign to bring awareness that distracted driving causes 1 in 5 crashes in the Lone Star State and even led to 452 deaths previous year alone!

"He's a devout Christian, but he was also a fun-loving person".

DPS Sgt. Conrad Hein said the small bus was a 2004 Turtle Top, though he did not know the specific model.

However, Jennifer Morrison, the investigator in charge of the team from the National Transportation Safety Board, said Friday that distracted driving will be among the issues investigated.

The governor added that he and his wife "thank the first responders working on the scene" and "ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers".

Senior Pastor Brad McLean said they were doing what church families do during crises.

Community members gathered at the church Wednesday evening to pray and offer condolences.

The crash happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to a statement from the church.

"As they grieve this tragic loss of their loved ones, the families have been moved by the compassionate outpouring of support from the community and across the world", the church told BP in a statement.

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