“It looked like ‘The Fast and The Furious’ from the intersection to the front of Sonic,” George West Police Chief Rey Garcia said. “We had vehicles and debris, there was a door in the middle of the road and personal belongings scattered. It was crazy.”
An Alpine Coach driven by Charles Raymond Brewer, 71, from Minnesota with Washington license plates failed to stop and took out nine vehicles, bringing the total to 11 vehicles with the one he was towing behind included according to Garcia.
Brewer’s wife, Sharon Brewer, 71, was ejected from the RV and hospitalized. Charles refused medical treatment.
Garcia said GWPD Sgt. Jorge Medina saw the RV going quickly in the northbound lane and the back tires were smoking.
“It’s still under investigation and it’s too early to speculate what went wrong, but it looks related to mechanical failure on behalf of the RV,” Garcia said. “I believe more than likely it is going to boil down to the RV lost its brakes.”
The Brewers’ vehicle’s speed is difficult to determine since there were no brake marks on the road and just gouges from when the RV dragged and tore off pieces of the vehicles, according to Garcia.
“All we know is he slammed into all of the vehicles,” Garcia said.
Sylvester Brady from Pinedale Cove in Austin was airlifted to San Antonio when his 2009 Dodge 1500 was hit and engulfed in flames. Brady is in critical condition and suffered a heart attack while en route to the hospital.
Garcia said the rear axel of Brady’s Dodge truck was underneath the RV and a small black car was lodged into the front end and dragged until it came to a stop.
Darlene Arciba, Ruby Chabarria and Eric West from Beeville and George West were all taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital when their 2013 Equinox was totaled.
Debra Anzaldua and Pauline Carbajal from Beeville and George West were hospitalized in Beeville.
Valerie Aguilar and David Mojica from San Antonio were in another vehicle that was hit and Aguilar was hospitalized as well.
George West Police Officer Michael Jefferson was also among the injured. His cruiser was parked behind a semi truck driven by Pedro Tobar of Penitas.
“He (Jefferson) got a pretty good laceration to the head,” Garcia said.
Garcia said Tobar saw the RV approaching and escaped injury by leaning over onto the passenger seat.
Jesus Enrique Guerra, 17, from George West was also uninjured, though his truck received damage.
Michael Pelham and Julie McDevitt from Sausalito, Calif., were also in the wreck.
Ilyssa Lugo, Kirby Bonds, Senaya Bonds and Nibiya Bonds from San Antonio were in another vehicle involved in the wreck. Garcia said his report didn’t show any of them taken to hospitals.
The George West, Swinney Switch and Three Rivers fire departments, McMullen County EMS, Calliham EMS, Acadian EMS, Airlife, Halo-Flight and responders from Mathis, Whitsett and Beeville arrived on the scene.
“The EMS services here weren’t sufficient so the sergeant called in the surrounding areas for more ambulances,” Garcia said. “We are talking about 114-degree weather; most troopers had to be treated by EMS for dehydration.”
Houston Street and the intersection with Highway 281 remained closed until about 8:30 p.m.