Negligent acts while driving can lead to serious injuries and death. In the split second it takes one vehicle to collide with another, lives change. Operating a car or truck requires high standards of safety. Speeding, reckless driving, or distractions caused by cell phones can result in dangerous and deadly collisions.
For 13 congregants of the First Baptist of New Braunfels coming home from a retreat, the accident they were involved in did not change their lives.
It ended them.
On March 29, Jack D. Young collided with a van carrying a church group on US 83 outside Garner State Park. Thirteen out of the fourteen passengers of the van were killed in the head-on collision after Young, traveling northbound in his pickup truck, veered into the southbound lane.
Court records revealed that the 20 year-old driver had taken prescription pills and was in possession of marijuana at the time of the crash. A state trooper at the scene also suspected that Young was intoxicated.
Young admitted that he had taken two pills of Clonazepam and generic forms of Ambien and Lexapro. It would be a claim backed up by a neighbor who witnessed him filling drug prescriptions early in the day.
He also confessed to texting moments before the accident.
Several miles away from the crash, a passenger in a vehicle behind him documented Young weaving from side to side with a cell phone camera.
Young was not arrested at the time of the crash and still has not been charged. Because of his injuries, a field sobriety test was not possible. However, video footage of a motorist showing him weaving on the road before the crash, Young’s own admission about medication and cell phone use, and a blood sample may serve as a foundation for criminal charges.
While Young likely may face criminal consequences over the 13 people killed in the accident, justice does not have to end there. For victims of these serious accidents, options exist outside criminal courtrooms. An experienced personal injury attorney can help secure and maximize the damages they are entitled to in civil court proceedings.