Houston man survives wreck that killed five in same car
LUBBOCK - A Houston man remains in critical condition after a crash that killed five others in the same car and in which alcohol was suspected as a factor.
Authorities said Wednesday that empty alcohol containers were found amid the wreckage of the car in an accident that killed cast and crew members of the musical drama "Texas," a popular summer musical production that included three West Texas A&M University theater students.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Christopher Ray said he didn't know whether the containers were beer cans or liquor bottles or where specifically they were located.
DPS has said alcohol is suspected as a factor in Monday night's crash when a car carrying six people ran a stop sign and collided with an 18-wheeler near Dumas. The investigation is ongoing.
A spokesman for an Amarillo hospital said Wednesday that Timothy Johnson, 30, of Houston, the only survivor from the car, remained in critical condition.
The driver of the 18-wheeler, Theron Arthur McSay, 70, of Fort Collins, Colo., remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Investigators haven't yet talked to McSay, Ray said, but were able to talk briefly with Johnson, who was conscious at the accident scene.
Killed in the wreck were Andrew Duncan of Wichita Falls, Clinton Diaz of Amarillo, and Amanda Starz of Lutherfield Timonium, Md., all 20; Julian Arredondo of Haltom City, 24, and Eric Harrison of Fort Worth, 21. All were pronounced dead at the scene.
Duncan, Diaz and Harrison were students at West Texas A&M in Canyon.
The 18-wheeler's load, water dispensing machines, came off the trailer after the collision and came to rest on top of the car's driver side, Ray said Wednesday.
Kris Miller, executive director of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation and a "Texas" cast member, told the Amarillo Globe-News that no alcohol was being served to minors at the end-of-season party at a ranch but attendees over the age of 21 were allowed to bring their own beverages.
"There didn't seem to be an abundance of alcohol there," Miller said, adding board members stressed the use of designated drivers and people were offered "financial incentives" to be designated drivers.
The musical, in its 48th season, draws up to 65,000 spectators a summer.