Young Driver Who Killed 13 People on Church Bus Charged with 28 Counts

faith
June 29, 2017Jun 29, 2017

It was a moment of sheer heartbreak and horror when the nation learned that 13 senior members of Texas church had died in a high-speed, head-on crash caused by a 20-year-old pickup truck driver on March 29. Only the pickup truck driver and one passenger on the small church bus survived.

Now 20-year-old Jack D. Young has turned himself in, almost three months after the crash, to face charges in jail, according to ABC News.

At first Young admitted to witnesses at the scene of the horrific crash that he had been texting, which caused him to drift into oncoming traffic while negotiating a curve on the 70-mph highway near Leakey. But a smartphone video shot by a motorist behind Young showed his pickup truck repeatedly veering off the road and entirely into the opposing lane numerous times.

Investigators have revealed that something far more than texting may have been affecting his driving. Young admitted to taking three prescription drugs — clonazepam and generic versions of Lexapro and Ambien — before the crash. Marijuana was also found in the truck.

Clonazepam, according to DrugAbuse.com, is an anti-anxiety, anti-seizure medication. It can give the user drowsiness and a sense of euphoria as well as relaxing their mind and body. Lexapro is also used to treat anxiety, according to WebMD, and can cause drowsiness. Ambien is a sedative so powerful that some users have been reported driving a vehicle while under the effects of Ambien and having no memory of it, according to Drugs.com.

That’s why most of Young’s charges involve intoxication, according to the San Antonio Express-News. He’s been hit with 26 counts of manslaughter and intoxication manslaughter for the 13 people he killed. He’s also been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and intoxication assault for the passenger he seriously injured.

Jenn Barrett, daughter of the church bus driver, said she’s forgiven Young but told him in a letter, according to the San Antonio Express-News, “My heart is broken for you. My dad invested his entire life in fathering, loving, and mentoring boys. How would your life be different if you'd known him in your youth?"

Please continue to pray for all the families involved and the First Baptist Church New Braunfels.