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Witness Says Driver of Truck in Fatal Church Bus Crash Was Texting

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According to a witness, the driver of a pickup that collided head-on with a church bus in Uvalde County Wednesday, killing 13 people, admitted to texting and driving while still pinned inside the wreck vehicle.

Jody Kuchler told the Houston Chronicle he spoke to the driver of the truck – 20-year-old Jack D. Young – just after the wreck.

“He said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was texting on my phone,” Kuchler told the Chronicle. Kuchler said he asked Young if he realized what he’d done, and that the young man continued apologizing.

The pickup veered across the center line, hitting a bus carrying 14 senior members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels. 12 church members died at the scene. Another died later in the hospital. They were returning from a choir retreat in Leakey.

Initial reports indicated that several people called to report reckless driving in the area of U.S Highway 83 near Garner State Park just before the crash, including Kuchler. He told the Chronicle his girlfriend was filming Young’s erratic driving on her phone, but stopped recording just moments before the crash.

On Thursday, Temple Fire & Rescue officials were kind enough to invite us to film them training for scenarios in which they’d have to cut crash victims from the wreckage of their vehicles. The timing is eerie and sobering. We had fun filming and watching them work, but the sad fact is that they have to do things like this far too often, and in many cases, someone was paying more attention to a mobile device than to a phone. We want to remind our listeners and readers to please stay off these devices while driving. It is absolutely not worth losing your life or destroying the lives of other people.

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