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Alcohol Containers Found In 5-Fatality Wreck

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LUBBOCK (AP) — Authorities said Wednesday that empty alcohol containers were found amid the wreckage of a car in an accident that killed five cast and crew members of the musical drama “Texas,” a popular summer musical production that included three West Texas A&M University theater students.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Christopher Ray said he didn’t know if the containers found by crash investigators found were beer cans or liquor bottles or where specifically they were located.

DPS has said alcohol is suspected as a factor in Monday night’s crash when a car carrying six people ran a stop sign and collided with an 18-wheeler near Dumas. The investigation is ongoing.

A spokesman for an Amarillo hospital said Wednesday that Timothy Johnson, 30, of Houston, the only survivor from the car, remained in critical condition.

The driver of the 18-wheeler, Theron Arthur McSay, 70, of Fort Collins, Colo., remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Investigators haven’t yet talked to McSay, Ray said, but were able to talk briefly with Johnson, who was conscious at the accident scene.

Killed in the wreck were Andrew Duncan of Wichita Falls, Clinton Diaz of Amarillo, and Amanda Starz of Lutherfield Timonium, Md., all 20; Julian Arredondo of Haltom City, 24, and Eric Harrison of Fort Worth, 21, Ray said. All five were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Duncan, Diaz and Harrison were students at West Texas A&M in Canyon.

The 18-wheeler’s load, water dispensing machines, came off the trailer after the collision and came to rest on top of the car’s driver side, Ray said Wednesday.

Kris Miller, executive director of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation and a “Texas” cast member, told the Amarillo Globe-News that no alcohol was being served to minors at the end-of-season party at a ranch but attendees over the age of 21 were allowed to bring their own beverages.

“There didn’t seem to be an abundance of alcohol there,” Miller said, adding board members stressed the use of designated drivers and people were offered “financial incentives” to be designated drivers.

The foundation produces the musical, which draws up to 65,000 spectators each summer and is in its 48th season.

Organizers canceled Wednesday performance. The show continues Thursday through Sunday to end the season.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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