87-year-olds among 13 killed in Texas church bus crash

A Texas church congregation is in mourning after 13 people, between the ages of 61 and 87, were killed in an accident Wednesday while on a church bus, officials said.

The bus was carrying senior adult congregants from the First Baptist Church in New Braunfels, Texas, who were on their way home from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment, the church said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said a pickup truck driver, 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young, veered into the opposite lane of U.S. highway 83, crashing into the church bus head-on with 14 people on board.

Pete Luna/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Authorities investigate after a deadly crash involving a van carrying church members and a pickup truck on U.S. 83 outside Garner State Park in Uvalde County, Texas, March 29, 2017.

Only one passenger on the bus — 64-year-old Rose Mary Harris — survived, authorities said. She was hospitalized in critical condition.

The bus driver and the remaining 12 passengers died.

Tom Reel/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
People greet each other outside First Baptist Church after hearing news of the deaths of several members who attended the church in New Braunfels, Texas, March 29, 2017.

Eight of the victims were in their 80s, officials said. The oldest were 87-year-old Harold Boyd Barber and 87-year-old Mildred Goodlett Rosamond, officials said.

The youngest of the 13 victims was 61-year-old Rhonda Barlow Allen, the Department of Public Safety said.

The other victims were identified as: Dorothy Fern Vulliet, 84; Martha Holcomb Walker; 84; Addie Maurine Schmeltekopf, 84; Avis Scholl Banks, 83; Margaret Robinson Barber, 82; Howard Bryan Allen, 81; Sue Wynn Tysdal, 76; Donna Elizabeth Hawkins, 69; Cristie Clare Moore, 68; and Murray William Barrett, 67.

“They were a part of our church family,” Pastor Brad McLean said at a news conference today. “They will be deeply missed.”

He continued: “I remember the smiles. I remember the hugs. I remember the couples coming…

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