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Major accidents mar holiday weekend

By Carolyn B. Edwards and Judith Pannebaker

Carolyn Buck, 63, of Helotes, was killed in a two-vehicle head on crash on Texas Highway 16 on Thursday, July 4.

Buck was driving south on Highway 16 about one half mile south of Timber Creek Road around 8:30 pm when a Mercury Marquis headed north crashed into her Ford Expedition. At this time, it is not known why the driver of the Marquis swerved into oncoming traffic.

Buck's husband, who was in the passenger seat, was injured, as was the driver of the Marquis.

Bandera County Fire Marshal John Stith happened on the accident about "30 seconds after it happened," according to his estimation. When he arrived, he reported the Expedition was on its side and on fire with people trapped inside. "Attempts made to pull the occupants out were unsuccessful," Stith said. "But, we were able to keep the fire away from them until the firefighters arrived with extrication equipment, the 'jaws of life'." The Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to the accident.

Stith and several firefighters were taken to Boerne Methodist and treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns. Buck's husband and the driver of the Marquis were transported via AirLife to University Hospital in San Antonio. Their medical condition is unknown. Buck was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was pretty intense," Stith said of the incident.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chip Aragones is investigating the fatal accident.

In addition, traffic was held up for a bit in downtown Bandera at approximately 11:15 am, Monday, July 8, when a motorcycle ended up under the wheels of a large dump truck at the intersection of Highway 16 and 173 South, in front of Bandera Bank. The truck was turning left from Highway 16 onto Highway 173. The motorcycle, which was traveling north on Highway 173, apparently failed to stop.

According to the City Marshal's office, the rider of the motorcycle suffered only minor injuries and chose not to be transported by EMS to an emergency facility.