A multi-car crash near Johnson City killed businessman Zach Muckleroy and his two kids, Judson and Lindsay
A Texas businessman and his two children have died after they were involved in a multi-car accident while heading to a Thanksgiving gathering.
Zach Muckleroy, 44, and his kids, Judson, 12, and Lindsay, 9, were killed when their vehicle — a Chevrolet SUV driven by Zach's wife, Lauren — was hit by two other cars on U.S. Highway 281 near Johnson City just before 6:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday, according to CBS News Texas, The Dallas Morning News and USA Today.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the Muckleroy family was traveling southbound when a man driving northbound in a Toyota “veered across the highway and collided head-on” with their vehicle, per the Morning News. A woman driving a Nissan Versa, who was also traveling southbound, subsequently hit the Chevrolet and rolled her car.
A total of four people were killed as a result of the collision, with the three Muckleroy family members dying at the scene of the crash while the driver of the Toyota was pronounced dead at a hospital, according to the Morning News. The driver of the Nissan was treated at the scene and released.
Lauren was the only person in the Chevrolet who survived the crash. She was transported to an Austin hospital in critical condition, according to ABC affiliate WFAA.
Muckleroy was the CEO of the Fort Worth commercial contractor, Muckleroy & Falls, which confirmed his death in a statement posted to Facebook. "It is with heavy hearts that we share the tragic passing of our beloved CEO, Zach Muckleroy, and his two children, Judson and Lindsay," the company wrote.
Former Texas Christian University football coach Gary Patterson also confirmed Muckleroy's death by posting about the former TCU football player on X (formerly known as Twitter). "Last night we lost a great Horn Frog, husband, dad and friend Zach Muckleroy and their two children Lindsay and Judson in a head on collision," Patterson posted, adding that Lauren was "in critical condition."
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It is unclear why the Toyota crossed into the southbound lane. An investigation into the collision is ongoing, USA Todayreported.
Texas DPS and the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Zach graduated from TCU with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance in 2002. He walked on to TCU’s football team in 1998, the same year they won the Sun Bowl against the University of Southern California, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
In addition to being “a proud alumni” of TCU, Zach also “treasured his family,” according to Muckleroy & Falls. The company also said its late CEO “was passionate about the construction industry” and led the business “with a calming demeanor.”
“Zach had a charisma about him and the uncanny ability to light up any room he walked into. He had a charitable heart that made lasting impacts on the Fort Worth Community,” the company wrote, adding, “He will be greatly missed.”
A vigil was held for the family Friday evening, according to WFAA and CBS News. Hundreds gathered at University Christian Church in Fort Worth, the family’s place of worship, to pray for the family.
Rev. Russ Peterman said Zach was the chair of the church’s elders. “This is a big loss for our community of faith,” he told WFAA.
The reverend also remembered Judson for having a smile “from ear to ear every time you’d see him” and Lindsay for “always” being by her mother’s side, according to NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
"My heart breaks for her,” Peterman said, per KTVT. “I can't imagine waking up and learning that your husband and two children are no longer with us, just unspeakable trauma.”
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