Jack Dillon Young, the 21-year-old man who caused the bus crash that killed 13 members of a New Braunfels church congregation last year, was sentenced to 55 years in prison.
The sentence was pronounced in a Uvalde courtroom Friday afternoon after a three-day hearing.
On Friday morning, Young took the stand. He said he didn’t know prescription medications would intoxicate him. He said he was sorry for causing the crash that killed 13 members of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels as they were returning home from a retreat and traveling in a minibus.
Young also said in court on Friday that he knew he was wrong and he knows he has to go to prison. In fact, he said he would choose prison over being released because it’s what he deserves.
Young faced up to 270 years in prison after pleading no contest in June to 13 counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault.
Prosecutors say Young was driving a pickup truck under the influence of a prescription antidepressant and had smoked marijuana before the March 2017 collision on Highway 83 near Uvalde, about 75 miles west of San Antonio.
Defense attorney Rogelio Munoz had asked for mercy and said doctors didn't properly monitor Young's prescription drug use.
On Thursday, testimony included comments from family members of the 13 First Baptist Church congregation members who were killed.
One person on the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels bus survived, as did the lone occupant in the truck, Young, who was determined to have caused the crash.
In a report released last month, the National Transportation Safety Board released information about contributing factors in deaths of the 13 people returning to New Braunfels from a church retreat who were killed in the crash with the pickup truck driven by Young.
The pickup driver’s use of marijuana and a sedative led to the crash, according to NTSB’s report released.
For more, see the Saturday Herald-Zeitung