UVALDE, Texas– A Texas state trooper says 13 people were killed in a crash between a church van and a pickup truck on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas.
The accident happened around 12:30 PM Wednesday, March 29th on U.S. 83 outside Garner State Park, just 75 miles west of San Antonio.
Sergeant Conrad Hein of the Texas Department of Public Safety says all 13 people killed were riding in the church van, which was carrying 14 passengers in total. All were seniors, and members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas.
The oldest church member was 87 years old.
The lone survivor is in the hospital in critical, but stable, condition.
The two survivors on the church bus were taken to a local hospital, as was the lone person in the pickup truck.
In a statement posted to the church website, church officers say the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, after 9 miles north of the crash.
The statement said, at the time, church officials hadn’t learned how many fatalities and injuries resulted from the crash. However, they were “ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy.”
The accident has also drawn condolences from Texas Governor Greg Abbott. In a statement, Abbott said he extends his “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.”
Right now, it’s unclear what caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators to the crash scene.