Driver in Church Bus Crash Was on a Cocktail of Prescription Pills

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SCREENSHOT, USATODAY
  • Screenshot, USAToday
The driver involved in a crash near Garner State Park last week that claimed 13 lives admitted to taking a cocktail of prescriptions meds, admitted to texting while driving before the fatal wreck, and was found with several joints inside his truck, according to records filed in court this week.

Affidavits filed by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the local DA's office, first reported by the Express News, say that Jack D. Young told officials after the crash that he'd taken Clonazepam and the generic versions of Ambien and Lexapro. The affidavit from a DPS trooper, which sought access to test Young's blood to see whether he was intoxicated at the time of the crash, also quotes an unnamed pharmacist who says the combination of drugs could have made the driver drowsy.

According to the affidavit, troopers also found a bunch of joints (two whole, five partially smoked) in the center console of the pickup Young was driving on March 29, when he drifted across the yellow line on U.S. 83 and collided with a van carrying a church group headed home from a seniors choir retreat in Leakey. Thirteen of the van's 14 passengers died in the crash.

A driver who was following Young filmed him swerving down the road just minutes before the crash. Officials have said they won't make a decision on whether to charge Young until after their investigation is complete. The driver wasn't given a field sobriety test because he was taken to the hospital for injuries right after the crash (he was released last week).

The driver who followed Young claims he found him pinned inside his truck after the accident, saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I was texting on my phone." In an affidavit filed this week, DPS troopers claim Young told them "he was checking for text messages on his phone at the time the crash occurred." Court records indicate that officials are trying to get access to Young's phone records to determine whether they support a manslaughter charge.


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