The lone survivor of the fiery crash that killed three on U.S. 290 over the weekend is recovering, as his fellow Texas A&M Corps of Cadet members mourn the loss of two of their own.

Francisco Campos, 18, a member of Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, who survived Sunday's crash on Highway 290, underwent surgery on Monday and will likely remain in the hospital for at least two weeks, according to his family and Corps leadership. Cesar Chavez High School graduate Amy Pacheco and Northbrook High School graduate Miguel Hernandez, both 18, died in the wreck, as did the driver who hit them, 21-year-old Katie Thomas of Deer Park.

A&M freshman Campos attended Chavez with Pacheco, who had been his girlfriend since high school.

"It's a miracle that he survived," said Commandant of the Corps of Cadets, Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr.

The news of their friends' deaths hit the Corps family hard, especially the 17 remaining freshmen in their company, said Alexander Cotter, the company commander for Pacheco and Hernandez.

"On Sunday when we first found out, there was a lot of disbelief and everyone was heartbroken," Cotter said. "There is still a dark cloud over us, but we are starting to heal."

The collision left Thomas' Mustang crushed and only a shell remains of Pacheco's Ford Explorer, which is burned, melted and distorted. It's unclear how Campos escaped.

The three corps members returned to Houston Friday to judge a high school JROTC competition. They were trying to make it back to College Station for a cadet service project early Sunday morning. Thomas hit Pacheco's Explorer head on while driving on the wrong side of the highway.

All three college freshmen had been active in their high school's Junior ROTC battalions - Pacheco and Campos at Chavez High and Hernandez at Northbrook High School in the Spring Branch ISD.

Ramirez has not spoken with Campos since the accident, but hopes he will one day be able to rejoin the Corps.

Cotter said Pacheco told him when she began the year that she wanted to be Corps commander one day. He remembers her as someone who was always smiling, even during morning drills when she was supposed to keep a straight face.

"When she came here this fall, it was a dream come true for her," Cotter said. "She definitely had the drive for it. She tried her hardest and always did the tough stuff with a smile on her face."

Cotter remembers Hernandez during training, pushing himself to his limit during each session. Even when he struggled, he continued to push his body every time he worked out, Cotter said.

"As the weeks went on, he began pushing his buddies to the limit too," Cotter said. "I was really proud to see that leadership develop in such a young person. You don't see that from everybody here."

Cotter said a few cadets visited Campos Sunday night and he was awake and stable.

Ramirez said the corps members had a traditional service called Echo Taps for Pacheco and Hernandez Monday at 10:30 p.m. with the cadets wearing their uniforms and taps was played in the area where the cadets live on campus. Silver Taps, a university tradition, will be held for the students in April. The funeral for Pacheco will be held Friday and the plans have not been finalized for Hernandez.

"It was a tribute to their classmates," he said. "Both were first generation college students, were highly motivated and enjoyed being in the Corps. They were always smiling."