Jack Dillon Young, the 20-year-old driver who crashed into a bus killing 13 members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels in Texas reportedly confessed that he was texting when the accident occurred.
The collision occurred at about 12:25 p.m. on March 29 along U.S. Highway 83 North just south of Ranch Road 1050 in Uvalde where Young's pickup truck crashed into the church's bus carrying 14 members. The group of older adults were on their way home from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment.
Rose Mary Harris, 64, of New Braunfels was the lone passenger on the church bus to survive. Young was hospitalized as well but according to local news station KSAT12, he was released from University Hospital on Tuesday.
Cellphone video shows Young's truck swerving wildly for several miles before the fatal crash. That video is now part of an ongoing criminal investigation authorities say could take up to a year to complete.
Jody Kuchler told The Associated Press he was driving behind the truck before the crash and called the sheriff's offices for both Uvalde and Real counties while he followed the truck. He said he warned them that "they needed to get him (Young) off the road before he hit somebody."
Kuchler said he witnessed the crash and afterward, he checked on both the bus and the truck. He said he spoke with Young who told him he was texting.
"He said, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was texting.' I said, "Son, do you know what you just did? He said, 'I'm sorry I'm sorry,'" Kuchler quoted the pickup driver as saying.
Uvalde Police Lt. Daniel Rodriguez told CBS DFW last Thursday that a man called a local police dispatch line just past noon Wednesday to report that a white Dodge pickup was swerving on the road, "(The caller) was scared (the pickup driver) was going to cause an accident and asked us to send deputies," Rodriguez said. "Deputies were dispatched, but before they could reach the area, the same caller called 911 to report that the truck had been in an accident."
The Texas Department of Public Safety also identified the 13 deceased church members as: Murray William Barrett, 67; Howard Bryan Allen, 81; Rhonda Barlow Allen, 61; Barber, 87; Margret Robinson Barber, 82; Mildred Goodlett Rosamond, 87; Addie Maurine Schmeltekopf, 84; Sue Wynn Tysdal, 76; Martha Holcomb Walker, 84; Dorothy Fern Vulliet, 84, all from New Braunfels. Others who died in the crash are: Cristie Clare Moore, 68 of Cibolo, Texas; Donna Elizabeth Hawkins, 69 of Schertz, Texas, and Avis Scholl Banks, 83 of Austin, Texas.
On Sunday, First Baptist Church of New Braunfels Pastor Brad McLean called for healing as his grieving members gathered for their first worship service since the crash.
"We gather as a church family who has suffered the loss of 13 of our family members, and so we gather with a heavy heart this morning," McLean said in the service, according to a statement released by the church. "It is important for us to recognize that our pain is real, our loss is real, our grief is real, and as a church family we will have to work through these losses together. It will not be done in one Sunday. It will not be done after one week of memorial services — it will take time."
WARNING: The video below contains offensive language.