Jody Kuchler watched as the erratic pickup driver plowed head-on into a van carrying senior citizens returning from a church seminar in Texas Wednesday, killing 13 on board.
“The noise of the crash was very loud and everything was in slow motion,” Kuchler said by phone.
When Kuchler ran up to the truck, the driver, 20-year-old Jack D. Young, was injured -- but alive.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry, ‘I’m sorry, I was texting,’” Kuchler said. “And I said, ‘Son, do you realize what you just did?’ He just said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ but he wasn’t crying -- he wasn’t none of that.”
Kuchler and his girlfriend had followed Young for 12 minutes before the deadly wreck and made a frantic call to the Real County Sheriff Department: “I’m following this guy, he’s in a white Dodge dually. He’s all over the road. Both sides. Somebody needs to stop this guy.”
They took pictures and recorded Young as several cars swerved out of the truck’s path.
“He’s gonna hit someone head-on or he’s gonna kill his own damn self,” Kuchler says on the 911 call. “Somebody needs to get this guy off the road.”
The lone survivor in the bus crash is in critical condition. The truck driver is stable. The NTSB plans to talk to both of them.