Texas Hill Country News

Witness of Deadly Bus Crash Releases Video of Pickup Truck Involved Taken Just Moments Prior

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Recently released video by witness Jody Kuchler is presently being used by authorities to determine the cause of the shocking accident which resulted in 13 fatalities last week when a van carrying a group of elderly churchgoers was struck head-on by a pickup being driven by a 20-year-old man who veered into their lane. While speaking with the police in efforts to have the distracted driver pulled over, Kuchler was recording Jack Dillon Young’s white Dodge pickup recklessly swerving to the side of the road and then back across the median.

In an interview with KENS5, Kuchler noted, “He kept going off the road and over into incoming traffic,” Kuchler told KENS5. ‘There were a couple of cars and trucks that actually got off on the shoulder.” While recording, his concern for fellow drivers is audible. However, authorities declined to send a patrol car to the area due to the fact that the truck was leaving their jurisdiction. Kuchler can clearly be heard commenting in return, “We’re talking about safety. Somebody needs to get this guy off the road.” Shortly after that, Young veered into oncoming traffic and hit the church bus at what’s estimated to be 80 miles per hour. It was at that point that Kuchler turned the camera off and tried to assist the injured.

Upon approach, Kuchler stated that he recalled Young repeating, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was texting.” The church bus was returning from a three-day choir retreat. Eleven of the passengers died upon impact, along with the 67-year-old driver, Murray Barrett. Another passenger succumbed to their injuries and passed away later at the hospital, leaving only two passengers that survived. There has been no comment from authorities with respect to whether Young was texting and driving, however with the video since being released to the public, it could play a critical role in his trial and sentencing.

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