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Three die on Bandera County highways

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Three people lost their lives in two separate traffic accidents here Thursday, Sept. 19. A 9-year-old girl was killed in a wreck in Pipe Creek and two adults died in a motorcycle accident near Utopia.
Caitlyn Gossett, 9, of Pipe Creek, was pronounced dead soon after a three-vehicle crash on FM 1283 near State Highway 16 that occurred around 3:30 pm.
According to Department of Public Safety reports, a 2000 Ford F-250 pickup was traveling south on FM 1283 and veered into the northbound lane, striking the Gossett vehicle. The truck then skidded sideways into the path of a 1989 Toyota pickup.
The young victim was riding in a 1985 Land Rover driven by her father, Scott Michael Gossett.
Scott Gossett, Don Cantello, driver of the Ford truck, and Danny Schultz, driver of the Toyota, were all transported in stable condition to University Hospital in San Antonio, reports stated.
Cantello's address was given as Lakehills; Schultz lives in Pipe Creek. Excessive speed on the part of Cantello may have been a factor in the accident, according to BCSO sources. DPS is continuing the investigation into the event.
Scott Gossett is a wounded veteran of Afghanistan. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three other children, Alexis, John, and Abigail. Only Scott and Caitlyn were in the Land Rover.
The Land Rover had a right-side steering wheel. Little Caitlyn was seated on the left, receiving the brunt of the impact. According to witnesses who were among the first to arrive at the scene, Scott Gossett was pinned and unable to move. His main concern was for his daughter and he repeatedly asked everyone to take care of her.
Once she was removed from the vehicle, EMS personnel continued to administer CPR as she was moved to a landing zone for AirLife at Phil's Road.
According to a report, the medical professionals with AirLife were unable to save her. She was pronounced dead at the landing zone by Justice of the Peace Lynn Holt shortly after 4 pm.
In addition to DPS troopers, deputies with the Bandera County Sheriff's Office, firefighters from the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department and other law enforcement officers assisted at the scene.
The Gossett family are members of the Pipe Creek Community Church. Pastor David Busby described Caitlyn as "an imaginative child, who lived in her world that she created." She loved to sing and loved to be heard singing. "If she thought you couldn't hear her, she'd sing louder," said Busby. In Sunday School she always knew the answers. Caitlyn was also a little fashionista, always eager to show off her latest outfit and collect admiring comments.
Hill Country Elementary Principal Laura Klein announced the news of the tragedy via the school district's e-news format shortly after the accident. She shared the school's condolences with the family and offered counseling services for her school family.
"The sudden death of a child has an impact on students and staff," Klein's release said. "School counselors will be available on campus for students, faculty and staff over the next few school days. Even if children are not in the same class or grade, they can be affected. Please feel free to talk to one of our campus counselors should your child have that need."
A memorial service for Caitlyn was held Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Pipe Creek Community Christian Church at 6 pm. Attendees wore pink in honor of Caitlyn.
Earlier on Thursday, two people were killed when their Harley Davidson motorcycle ran off the roadway on Highway 187 near Cypress Hollow Road north of Utopia. The driver, James McCue, 42, was from San Antonio. His passenger, Kristine Riojas, 42, was from Boerne. The couple was traveling south on 187 when they ran off the highway, landing in a dry creek bed.

Pictured: Photo courtesy Jerry Vanzant
Caitlyn Gossett, center, enjoyed the fireworks with friends last 4th of July with her usual enthusiasm. The 9-year-old died in a traffic accident on FM 1283 last Thursday, Sept. 19.