Driver who was allegedly texting kills 13 elderly churchgoers
After a pickup truck collided with a church minibus in Texas and killed 13 people, a witness says the driver of the truck admitted he had been texting and driving, according to CBS News.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein would not comment on whether texting might have played a role in the collision that happened on Wednesday near the town of Concan.
Jennifer Morrison, the investigator in charge of the team from the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Associated Press that distracted driving will be among the issues investigated.
In an interview with AP, the witness, 55-year-old Jody Kuchler, said he and his girlfriend were headed home when they noticed the truck was driving erratically across the road.
"He kept going off the road and into oncoming traffic and he just kept doing that," Kuchler told the San Antonio Express-News.
Kuchler said he followed the truck for 15 minutes, and called both nearby sheriff's offices in hopes of getting the driver off the road.
After the crash, he checked on both the bus and the truck. He said he spoke to the driver, who the Department of Public Safety has identified as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young.
"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 told the San Antonio Express-News.
According to AP, Texas is one of the few states that does not have a ban on texting while driving. Though many cities prohibit it, local ordinances may not have applied in the area where Wednesday's crash occurred.
Twelve out of 14 people on the bus died at the scene, authorities said. Another died at the hospital, and one is still hospitalized but in stable condition, according to the church.
Young, the truck driver, also remains hospitalized.