Three Copperas Cove students injured in two-vehicle collision, parents decry DPS statement
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Three Copperas Cove ISD students and members of the Pride of Cove Band were injured in a Friday morning accident west of Copperas Cove shortly before noon.
According to a statement released on Saturday morning by Sgt. David Roberts, a public information officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a two-vehicle crash occurred on Friday at 11:35 a.m. at the intersection of F.M. 1113 and F.M. 580 in Topsey, with DPS troopers responding to the scene.
A 16-year-old male was driving westbound in a 1993 Toyota pickup on F.M. 1113 and pulled into the intersection of F.M. 580 when a 2012 Chevrolet pickup driven by Rickey Jones, 58, of Marble Falls, who was headed northbound on F.M. 580, collided with the vehicle.
The 16-year-old male driver was transported by ambulance to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center for “treatment of incapacitating injuries.”
His passengers were a 15-year-old female and a 14-year-old male, both from Copperas Cove.
The 15-year-old female was transported by ambulance to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple for treatment of ”incapacitating injuries,” according to the DPS statement.
The 14-year-old male, who had been riding in the bed of the Toyota according to the DPS statement, was thrown from the vehicle on impact. He was transported by helicopter to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple for treatment of incapacitating injuries.
However, the families of the students involved in the accident disagreed with some of the information released by DPS on Saturday.
The mothers of the two male students spoke with the Leader-Press on Saturday afternoon and stated that the 14-year-old male was, in fact, riding inside the cab of the Toyota pickup when the accident occurred.
The mother of the 16-year-old driver said the statement from DPS that the 14-year-old male had been riding in the bed of the truck is “incorrect information” and that “all three kids were inside the vehicle and one of the boys was ejected. It’s already hitting social media and the kids are contacting each other, and there is a lot of negative stuff going around…they don’t need to be running off rumors on social media.”
According to the driver’s mother, the three were riding with the windows down because there wasn’t air conditioning in the truck. Then the truck, with manual transmission, stalled when they entered the intersection and although her son was able to get it restarted, it wasn’t enough.
“The girl riding in the truck said (the 14-year-old) was sitting with them inside the truck, and when it was struck by the other truck, he was ejected through the open passenger window. Paramedics on the scene, at the hospital when they did the report, they said he was in the cab, and there is other evidence. His phone is still in the truck and he has injuries consistent with limbs hitting the windowsill as he was leaving the truck. I’m sure they’ll find a broken seatbelt in that truck. It was high impact (accident), one truck was way smaller than the other.”
On Saturday afternoon, parents said the boys were making great progress and they expressed their thanks for support.
“There has been an amazing outpouring from the school district and the community. They’ve been doing a wonderful job for all the students involved. It’s the best scenario right now we can have,” said the 16-year-old’s mother.
An account has been set up for one of the students at https://www.gofundme.com/fptsd-help-for-kenny.
On Friday evening, the Pride of Cove Band did not perform at the football game and a moment of silence was held for the injured students.
“This crash is still under investigation,” said Sgt. Roberts. “TX DPS would like to remind motorists of the dangers an intersection can pose. It is vital that all drivers ensure it is safe to proceed before entering any intersection.”