DPS: Alcohol involved in wreck that killed 3 SFA students
RUSK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - DPS has released the names of the three SFA students killed and one injured in a two-vehicle wreck between a car and an 18-wheeler Saturday night. A DPS trooper confirmed that the driver of the car had been drinking before the accident occurred.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Corporal Jesse Stewart, Kevin Christian Garcia, 19, of Houston, was driving a Ford Escape southwest on State Highway 315 in Rusk County when he made a U-turn and headed northwest. Then Garcia pulled onto the shoulder to make another U-turn and pulled out in front of an 18-wheeler, which struck his Escort on the driver's side. The accident occurred at 7:40 Saturday.
Stewart confirmed that Garcia had been drinking. The results of a blood alcohol test on Garcia are still pending. DPS officials should get the final results back in two or three weeks.
Garcia and the three other students, who all reportedly attended Stephen F. Austin State University, were riding in Garcia's 2006 Ford Escape.
Patrick Wayne Fagan, 18, of Missouri City died at the scene. He was wearing his seatbelt.
Two other students, Hunter Vance Buck, 23, of Bastrop, and Kamilla Burgos-Carrillo, 21, of Tampaulipas, Mexico, were also killed. DPS reports that neither were wearing their seatbelt.
Garcia was last listed in critical condition with internal injuries at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler. The DPS report says he was wearing his seatbelt.
Meanwhile, SFA students and members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity are coping with the triple fatality.
SFA freshman Audrey Lane knew the wreck victims, some better than others, but still, all were friends.
Lane pointed to a picture of one of her friends.
"This is a picture of Kamilla," Lane said.
Kamilla Burgos-Carrillo was her best friend. Lane now cherishes a ring she borrowed from her friend.
"She's the sweetest girl. The best fashion sense. The best cook," Lane said. "She's always just so clean cut and like classy. Just the definition of classy."
The 21-year-old Puerto Rican was also Audrey's brother's first real girlfriend. She broke the sad news.
"It was the worst possible phone call I ever had to make," Lane said.
Buck, a past president of Tau Kappa Epsilon, was the funny one says friends and a professor. The senior history major, set to graduate in December, loved to Tweet. Just hours before the wreck, Buck posted, "Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." on his Twitter page.
Hunter told Lane something similar on April 28 during a road trip back from Houston.
"You know, I'm going to die in two years, Audrey," Lane said. "And I said,' Hunter, why do you say that,' kinda laughing at him, 'you don't know that at all, why would you say that?' he said, 'I know it. I've come to terms with it. It's OK.'"
Fagan, believed to be the only African-American in the SFA TKE chapter was only 18 years old. The Missouri City freshman was spoken of highly by his fraternity brothers at a gathering last night.
"He had this distinct personality and his pledge class loved him," Lane said.
Then there's Kevin Garcia, the 19-year-old driver. He may be hurt the hardest by all this says his TKE family.
"He's going to have to live with the fact that, you know, lives were lost, but he was meant to survive, and he did, and he's alive," Lane said.
At 8 p.m. Monday, students will gather at Spirit Rock on the SFA campus. It will be an opportunity, right before the summer break, to say a final goodbye to three Lumberjacks.
"I'm going to miss them a lot," Lane said.
Many of Garcia's TKE fraternity brothers and sisters have gathered at Trinity Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler to be at his side. He also got a visit from the Dean of Student Affairs, Adam Peck.
Lane said Garcia has a broken leg and popped vessel in his heart and has not been told of his passengers' fate.
Friends and fellow students have been showing their support on Twitter with hash tags #prayersforTKE and #prayersforSFA.
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