The crash occurred at about 12:25 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. Highway 83 North just south of Ranch Road 1050 in Uvalde where a pickup truck crashed into the church’s bus carrying 14 members. The group of older adults were on their way home from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment.
One passenger from the bus, Rose Mary Harris, 64, of New Braunfels remains hospitalized in critical condition. The driver of the pickup truck, Jack Dillon Young, 20, of Leakey is recovering in a local hospital as well. He is in stable condition.
Glenn Timmermann told KENS5 that he knew one of the oldest victims killed the crash, 87-year-old Harold Boyd Barber, from Bible study. He said Barber was one of the most devout Christians he’d ever met.
Two weeks ago when he last saw Barber, Timmerman said: “I told him to have a good weekend and everything. It was such a shock that that was the last time I saw him.”
He said he found out his church brother was dead as he watched the news Wednesday evening.
“I first thought, ‘Oh, I hope Harold’s not on that bus. Then I saw his name on the news and my heart just dropped. I started praying,” Timmerman said.
The crash, he explained, has hit the New Braunfels community very hard.
“It’s a real big tragedy for the citizens of New Braunfels because this is a close-knit church. I know some of the other people,” he said.
On Thursday, First Baptist Church of New Braunfels Pastor Brad McLean told KHOU that the church community had been responding to the crash with a range of emotions.
“Our church family is doing what we should do, coming together and grieving with those, and weeping with those who weep,” he said.
Eva Lott, director of Oakwood Counseling Center, which is providing services to the loved ones of those killed, said she was amazed by the strength some of the family of the victims displayed.
“I had an interesting conversation with a lady who lost her mom and dad. In my spirit I felt a groan because I thought that’s horrible to lose both parents at the same time, but she looks at me and said we’re going to be OK. She said this is the way they would’ve wanted it, to go together,” said Lott.
McLean said despite the questions that linger from the tragic event, he believes it’s in God’s plan.
“Many might ask, why would God allow this to happen? I can’t answer that question, but I am confident of this, I am confident in God’s perfect plan,” he said.