13 people dead in Texas church bus crash

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 northern Uvalde County, Texas, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The group of senior adults from First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, was returning from a retreat when the crash occurred, a church statement said. (Zeke MacCormack/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a 13th passenger from a church bus has died after the bus and a pickup truck collided head-on on a Texas highway.

Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Johnny Hernandez confirmed that the person died at a San Antonio hospital. Hernandez said the bus driver and 11 passengers died at the scene of the crash. There were 14 total aboard the bus.

Hernandez said the lone survivor from the bus was hospitalized in critical condition, while the pickup truck driver was hospitalized in stable condition.

The bus was carrying senior adult members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, home from a three-day retreat.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators to the crash scene.

In a statement, Texas Gov. Greg 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.”

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 (14.5 km) 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.”

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