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Man dies when truck goes over cliff

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A man died in a freak accident in Tarpley as he attempted to prevent a vehicle from plummeting over a cliff.
The fatal accident occurred at approximately 10:30 am, Thursday, Nov. 14, in the 300 block of Indian Mound Road in the Rio Hondo subdivision, according to Chief Deputy Matt King of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office.
The man's wife reported that her husband, Robert Welch, 63, of Corpus Christi, had been working in a barn prior to the accident. "She was in the kitchen when she heard a vehicle on gravel. As she looked out the window, she saw the pickup roll away from the barn and go over the cliff," King said.
BCSO law enforcement officers who reported to the scene of the accident were investigator Sgt. Danny Sanchez and Cpl. DJ Nowlin. Members of the Tarpley Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the 9-1-1 call.
The sheriff's report noted that as the 2011 F-150 Ford pickup truck was rolling away from the barn, Welch appeared to be hanging from the door on the driver's side, attempting to stop the vehicle. Instead, the truck rolled over a 12 to 15-foot drop taking Welch with it.
The investigation determined that the vehicle had initially landed on Welch, whose body was found approximately five to six feet away from the truck. He had suffered massive trauma to his entire body, including fractures of the skull.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Bobbie Jo Basinger pronounced Welch dead at the scene.
According to Welch's wife, her husband regularly kept his truck in neutral when parked, which may have contributed to the accident, King said.