Thirteen fatalities have been reported after a church minibus carrying senior passengers home from a retreat was involved in a two-vehicle crash in the Texas Hill Country. Two people have been injured, including the driver of the second vehicle – a large white pickup which collided with the bus.
Texas Hill Country News
13 Killed in First Baptist New Braunfels Church Bus Accident
Sgt. Orlando Moreno with the Texas Department of Public Safety provided comment in an interview with CNN, noting that 12 people, including the bus driver, died at the scene and the 13th victim died at a San Antonio hospital as a result of their injuries. Senior Pastor Brad McLean of the First Baptist New Braunfels Church has advised that another passenger from the bus is still in serious but stable condition.
The church has canceled events, but are in the process of having members gather to console each other, grieve, and provide support to one another. The pastor explained that they are of course doing what church families do during a crisis such as this. “They’re coming together, they’re crying together, they’re praying together and … there’s anxiousness as to who was on the bus and what their condition is,” he said in an interview on Wednesday night (March 29). He noted that at that time, authorities had not yet provided him with the details about the accident. In the meantime, the church’s Facebook account posted a request for prayers.
In an update this morning (March 30), the church has released an official statement regarding the accident and this extreme loss of life, noting “It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that thirteen of the fourteen passengers in today’s bus accident were called home to Jesus. The survivor is in serious but stable condition. Families have been notified. Out of respect for the families, we will wait until tomorrow to publish an official statement and list of names. Thank you for the outpouring of love and support. Please continue to pray.”