Relatives share photos, memories of victims in sentencing hearing for Jack Young
Testimony will resume Friday morning in the sentencing of the driver convicted in a 2017 fatal church bus crash.
The crash killed 13 people, all were parishioners of the First Baptist Church in New Braunfels.
On Thursday, a dozen relatives shared photos and memories of the victims from the witness stand.
"We know where she is,” said Peggy Grantham. “We know that someday we'll be with her."
Grantham traveled from Tallahassee, Florida to testify Thursday.
Her 84-year old mother, Addie Schmeltekopf, was one of the 13 people killed in the collision on March 29, 2017.
Grantham told the judge she would routinely call her mother in the afternoons after work.
“When you're sick or sad or have an issue, you want to call mama and ask mama's opinion and tell you it's going to be okay,” said Grantham. “But we can't do that."
Nearly a dozen relatives from several of the victim's families shared similar and heart wrenching experiences.
Rose Mary Harris, the lone survivor from the crash, shared what she remembers the moments before the crash happened.
“As I turned, I remember being jerked around and I couldn’t believe what my eyes just saw,” said Harris. “When it settled, there was no noise.”
Many say they have forgiven Jack Young, the driver of the truck that crashed into the church bus.
Young opted to plead no contest to the 14 charges he faces and be sentenced by a judge instead of a jury trial.
His defense attorney is arguing for mercy, blaming Young's doctors for prescribing him too much clonazepam, a drug used to treat anxiety.
"We didn't cause this,” said Grantham. “We didn't make him come to this courtroom. He made himself come to this courtroom."
Grantham couldn't say how long but believes Young should spend time in prison
“I don't think it's safe for him to be on the streets,” said Grantham. “I'm afraid the next time it could be a school bus of children."
Young faces decades in prison.