Members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels are grieving following Wednesday’s church bus crash that killed 13 senior adults and injured two others.
Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board and the Texas Department of Public Safety are now examining the crash site along U.S. 83 outside Garner State Park.
The crash occurred around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday when a northbound white pickup struck a southbound mini bus head-on on about 30 miles north of Concan. The wreck forced the highway to close for about 12 hours.
A DPS sergeant at the scene told media the wreck occurred along a curve.
For unknown reasons a pickup truck driven by 20-year old Jack Dillon Young of Leakey veered into the path of the church mini-bus, he said.
Law enforcement officials in two Texas counties say they’re now checking into information from callers who say they saw a person in a white pickup truck driving erratically shortly before the deadly collision.
Young was taken by helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio where he is in stable condition. The other survivor, bus passenger Rose Mary Harris, 64, of New Braunfels, was upgraded to fair condition Thursday afternoon according to a spokeswoman at San Antonio Military Medical Center.
The bus driver and 12 senior citizens riding with him died. Most were members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels , and all were returning to San Antonio from a three-day retreat at Alto Frio Baptist Camp & Conference Center.
Alto Frio officials issued a statement on their website:
Alto Frio had the honor of hosting this special group of people for their annual Senior Adult Retreat. With heavy hearts our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s families and with the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels church family in the grieving of the tragic accident that occurred Wednesday afternoon. This group has been very supportive of Alto Frio throughout the years through faithful service, donations to our ministry and regular participation in our events. We will continue to lift up our brothers and sisters of the New Braunfels community during this time of loss.
First Baptist Pastor Brad McLean ministered to his congregation and those families directly affected late into Wednesday night and counselors were being provided Thursday.
“Thank you for an outpouring of love and support,” read a statement on the church’s website and shared of Facebook. “Please continue to pray.”
Those who died in the crash were identified:
- Murray William Barrett, 67, of New Braunfels
- Howard Bryan Allen, 81, of New Braunfels
- Rhonda Barlow Allen, 61, of New Braunfels
- Harold Boyd Barber, 87, of New Braunfels
- Margaret Robinson Barber, 82, of New Braunfels
- Cristie Clare Moore, 68, of Cibolo
- Donna Elizabeth Hawkins, 69, of Schertz
- Avis Scholl Banks, 83, of Austin
- Mildred Goodlett Rosamond, 87, of New Braunfels
- Addie Maurine Schmeltekopf, 84, Of New Braunfels
- Sue Wynn Tysdal, 76, of New Braunfels
- Martha Holcomb Walker, 84, of New Braunfels
- Dorothy Fern Vulliet, 84, of New Braunfels