UVALDE, Texas – A Texas state trooper says 12 people were killed in a crash between a church van and a pickup truck on a two-lane highway in southwestern Texas.
Sgt. Conrad Hein of the Texas Department of Public Safety also said three others were injured and taken to hospitals after the head-on collision that happened around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. 83 outside Garner State Park, about 75 miles west of San Antonio.
But Hein said he does not know if the lone occupant of the pickup truck is among the dead or how many of the dead were among the 14 people aboard the church van.
The 14 in the van were senior members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas.
In a statement posted on the church website, church officials said the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 9 miles north of the crash site.
The statement said 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 news has drawn condolences from Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a statement, 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.”
The governor added that he and his wife “thank the first responders working on the scene” and “ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers.”