12 KILLED IN CHURCH VAN, PICKUP COLLISION
Van was carrying 14 senior members of a New Braunfels church.
Twelve people were killed and three others were injured Wednesday when a pickup collided head-on with a van carrying 14 senior members of a New Braunfels church on a two-lane highway north of Uvalde, authorities said.
The crash happened about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. 83 outside Garner State Park, about 75 miles west of San Antonio, said Sgt. Conrad Hein of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
It was unclear if the lone occupant of the pickup was among the dead or how many of the dead were among the 14 aboard the church van, Hein said. Information was unavailable on the extent of injuries for the other three people, who were taken to a hospital.
The cause of the crash hasn’t been determined, Hein said.
The collision happened at a major curve in the highway, according to the Uvalde Leader-News. That newspaper also reported that a woman said she called law enforcement about reckless driving involving one of the vehicles, but authorities didn’t arrive before the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating.
The van was carrying members of First Baptist New Braunfels who were returning from the Alto Frio Baptist Camp and Conference Center in Leakey, about 9 miles north of the crash site. They had just finished a three-day retreat that included singing and Bible study.
As the church learned of the crash Wednesday afternoon, it canceled its activities that evening and said the sanctuary would be open for prayer and support.
A statement on the church’s Facebook page said it hadn’t received any official details from authorities, but the church was “ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy.”
Counselors will be at the church Thursday to offer support, according to the Facebook post.
“If you’re a Christian, you can pray for those who lost their loved ones and for the church family,” the Facebook post said.
In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott said he and his wife, Cecilia, extend their “deepest condolences to the victims and the families of those involved in today’s tragic event.” He said they are “saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected.”