- Philip Jankowski American-Statesman Staff
The son of one of the 13 bus passengers killed in a collision with a pickup near Uvalde three weeks ago is suing the truck’s driver, alleging that he was intoxicated and texting when the crash occurred.
The lawsuit filed Monday in state District Court in Uvalde County is the first to be filed in connection with the March 29 crash that occurred outside of Leakey. Ross Allen, the son of victim Howard Bryan Allen, is asking for more than $1 million in damages.
The suit names the driver of the pickup, Jack D. Young, as a defendant along with his father, Joseph B. Young, calling the father negligent for allowing his 20-year-old son to drive the dually Chevrolet pickup, which the elder Young owned.
Court documents indicate that Jack Young had taken multiple prescription drugs before the crash. Investigators also found marijuana in the car after the crash, the documents said.
Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that no charges or citations have been filed in the case. DPS, the Uvalde County district attorney’s office and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating.
“Ross knows his father, as an accountant and a man of great faith, believed in holding people responsible for their actions morally as well as financially,” the lawsuit says. “This suit is the only way for him to have control in order to accomplish both objectives on behalf of his father and the estate.”
The crash happened as a bus owned by the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels was taking some attendees home from a church retreat. Authorities said they were traveling on U.S. 83 near Uvalde as Young was headed in the opposite direction.
Before the collision, multiple people had called 911 to report a white pickup that was swerving in and out of its lane on the rural highway. One witness, who recorded video of the truck swerving, later said that Young told him he had been texting when the crash occurred.
The crash killed all but one passenger on the church bus. Both that passenger and Young were hospitalized but have been released.