A witness says the driver of a pickup truck involved in a fatal crash with a church minibus confessed to have been texting while driving.
Jody Kuchler, a 55-year-old self-employed welder, told the Associated Press (AP) that he and his girlfriend, Thania Sanchez, were driving behind the truck near Concan, and that it had been driving erratically — weaving in and out of the lane and crossing the center line several times.
Kuchler said he continued following the pickup truck but he also called the sheriff’s offices for both Uvalde and Real counties. The Houston Chronicle reports that Kuchler said in a 911 call, “Somebody needs to get this guy off the road. He’s going to hit somebody head on or he’s going to kill his own damn self. Somebody needs to get this guy off the road. He’s going like 80 miles an hour right now.”
Kuchler recorded video of the truck swerving around on the road before the crash that killed 13 people — all but one of the seniors traveling to a church retreat.
Following the crash, Kuchler said told the AP he spoke with the driver of the truck, who was later identified as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young of Leakey, Texas.
Kuchler said Young apologized, saying, “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.’”
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein wouldn’t comment on the issue of texting, but officials say the truck driver appeared to have crossed the center line.
National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Jennifer Morrison said only that distracted driving will be part of the investigation.
My San Anotonio reports Young was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio where he is currently listed in stable condition.
Photo: Video screenshot