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Indictments handed down in fatal crash

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: A Bandera County Grand Jury indicted Troy Allen Timmins on two counts of manslaughter, enchanced in the traffic deaths of Carolyn and Ron 'Butch' Buck.

A motorist, who crossed onto the wrong side of a highway, resulting in the death of two people in a fiery crash in Bandera County on July 4, has been arrested. Lab reports indicated that Troy Allen Timmins, 38, was apparently driving under the influence at the time of the head-on crash.

On Monday, Dec. 23, deputies with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office arrested Timmins at his mother's house in Bexar County on an outstanding warrant related to a previous narcotics charge, according to Bandera County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt King. "He's set to be arraigned in Bandera County on Monday, Jan. 6, but that will probably be reset," King said, adding that a felony bench warrant would most likely be issued to ensure Timmins' return to Bandera County.

On Monday, Dec. 2, a Bandera County Grand Jury indicted Timmins on two counts of manslaughter, enhanced.
Because Timmins was allegedly driving under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, the charges could be elevated to a first-degree felony.

The two-vehicle crash occurred at approximately 8:30 pm, Thursday, July 4, on Highway 16 South, about a half mile south of Timber Creek Road. Carolyn Buck died at the scene and her husband died after suffering a stroke during an operation directly related to the crash.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety accident report, Timmins was driving north on the inside of the southbound lane coming out of a curve on Highway 16 when he struck the Buck's vehicle traveling southbound.

At that time, it was unknown what caused Timmins to swerve directly into the path of a Ford Expedition driven by Carolyn Buck, 63, of Helotes. However, the DPS accident report also noted that subsequent toxicology results revealed that Timmins had multiple drugs in his system at the time of the crash, including benzodiazepine and amphetamine.

Buck died at the scene and her husband, Ron "Butch" Buck, who was in the passenger seat, was airlifted to the burn unit at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. After several surgeries, he succumbed to massive injuries on July 22.

Timmins was airlifted to University Hospital with unspecified, but non-life-threatening, injuries.

Tragically, the Bucks, who were returning from an Independence Day picnic, were reportedly just minutes from their home when the head-on occurred.

Bandera County Fire Marshal John Stith happened on the grisly scene about "30 seconds after (the accident) happened," according to his estimation. When he arrived, he reported the Expedition was on its side and engulfed in flames with the Bucks 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 was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was pretty intense," Stith said of the incident. He later lauded civilians who assisted at the scene.
"The bystanders were able to do the things needed to give people the best chance of survival," he said on Thursday, Dec. 26. "The assistance from the public was incredible."

Stith also singled out for praise Dale Martin with the PC VFD, who also is a firefighter in San Antonio. "It was a tough scene," Stith added.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chip Aragones handled the initial investigation of the fatal crash.