Texas bus crash kills 13 and injures two

Members of the First Baptist Church were returning from a three-day retreat

Scene of the image  involving a Texas church bus carrying senior citizens which crashed head-on with another vehicle. Photograph: WOAI/Reuters

Scene of the image involving a Texas church bus carrying senior citizens which crashed head-on with another vehicle. Photograph: WOAI/Reuters

 

A shuttle bus carrying church members home from a retreat has collided head-on with a pick-up truck in south-western Texas, killing 13 people and injuring two others, officials said.

All of the victims who died were senior adults who attended First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas.

A total of 14 seniors were on the bus and the driver was the only person in the pick-up when the vehicles collided on US 83 outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt Conrad Hein and a church statement.

Lieut Johnny Hernandez said the bus driver and 11 passengers died at the scene of the crash and another passenger died later at a hospital in San Antonio, 120km (75 miles) away.

Mr Hernandez said the lone survivor from the bus is in critical condition, while the pick-up driver is stable.

It is not yet clear what caused the collision about 193km (120 miles) from the church. The US national transportation safety board has sent investigators to the scene, spokesman Terry Williams said.

Photos and video of the aftermath showed heavy damage to the front drivers’ sides of both vehicles. The back of the bus was up on a guardrail, with glass and debris scattered on to the grass below.

Sgt Hein said the minibus was a 2004 Turtle Top, which makes buses with capacities ranging from 17 to 51 passengers.

Church officials said in a statement on the First Baptist website that the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 14km (nine miles) north of where the crash happened.

The church officials were “ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy”, according to the statement. Counsellors are scheduled to be available on Thursday at the church.

AP