13 Dead, 2 Injured in Head-On Collision Near Hill Country: Officials

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, offered their condolences in the hours after the crash

Thirteen people were killed and two others were injured Wednesday when a van carrying 14 church members collided with a pickup truck on a two-lane Texas highway, authorities said.[[417508163,C]]

The group of senior adults from First Baptist Church of New Braunfels was returning from a retreat when the crash occurred, a church statement said.

The vehicles collided at about 2 p.m. on U.S. Highway 83 outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County, said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein.

The area is about 75 miles west of San Antonio.

One passenger in the bus and the lone person in the truck were the two survivors.

The cause of the crash hasn't been determined, Hein said.

Photos and video of the scene showed heavy damage to the front drivers' sides of the small white church van and the pickup truck. The vehicles appeared to have collided on those sides of the vehicles.

The back of the van was up on a guardrail and debris was scattered onto the grass below.

Church officials said in a statement on the First Baptist website that the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 9 miles north of where the crash happened.

"Our church family is doing what church families do. They're coming together, they're crying together, they're praying together," said senior pastor Dr. Brad H. McLean, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in New Braunfels.

The church officials were "ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy," according to the church statement. Counselors also were scheduled to be available at the church on Thursday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, offered their condolences in the hours after the crash.

"We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected," their statement said. "We thank the first responders working on the scene in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, and ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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