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Human Services

How SMS Kills 13 People

"He said, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was texting,'" a witness recalled. "I said, 'Son, do you know what you just did?'"

The driver of a pickup truck that collided with a church bus in Texas on Wednesday, killing 13 people, may have been texting in the moments leading up to the crash, according to a witness who was at the scene.

Jody Kuchler was driving with his friend along US Highway 83, a rural stretch of highway about 75 miles west of San Antonio, when he witnessed a truck swerve erratically into oncoming traffic several times.

While his friend filmed the truck on her phone, Kuchler made several calls to local sheriffs' departments to urge police to get the driver off the road.

"Somebody needs to get this guy off the road," Kuchler said, according to 911 audio obtained by KSAT. "He's going to hit somebody head on or he's going to kill his own damn self. Somebody needs to get this guy off the road."

In the aftermath of the accident, Kuchler said he spoke to the driver, who apologized and admitted that he had been texting while driving.

"He said, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was texting,'" Kuchler recalled. "I said, 'Son, do you know what you just did?'"

Federal and state investigators declined to comment on the account Friday. But officials with the National Board of Transportation Safety said that distracted driving would be among the issues considered as the agency investigates the causes of the accident. Texas does not have a statewide ban on texting while driving.

The bus had been carrying members of the First Baptist New Braunfels Church returning from a retreat at a nearby camp. Of the 14 passengers, 12 died at the scene, and another succumbed to their injuries Wednesday evening at a hospital. The sole survivor remains in critical condition at a hospital in San Antonio.

Source: Al-Alam News Network

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