Father, two children die in hill country car accident
Family angry at accused driver
By Stephanie Flemmons, Staff Writer
A father and two of his children from Plano were killed Saturday after a driver crossed the double yellow lines on State Highway 71, causing a head-on collision.
Department of Public Safety officers are waiting on blood test results to determine if John Wayne Horn, 29, was under the influence of drugs when he allegedly crossed the yellow lines and hit the car driven by Russell Rutland. According to family members, Horn is suspected of being under the influence of methamphetamines.
“Blood was taken and toxicology tests were performed,” said Tom Vinger, DPS spokesman. “We are waiting for the results to determine whether drugs or alcohol were involved.”
Russell Rutland, 37, Hunter Rutland, 8, and Maddison Rutland, 4, were killed in the accident. Zachary Rutland, 10 and Kole Rutland, 5, were transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin suffering only minor injuries.
“I’m so angry about this, this was my only granddaughter and they were both such wonderful kids,” said Pamela Bisnette, the Rutland’s grandmother. “It just breaks my heart. This is a terrible story as to how these three wonderful people died in this awful accident. I would like everyone to be aware of the dangerous people we are allowing to drive on our streets.”
The accident occurred about 9 a.m. June 6, when the Rutlands were traveling eastbound on State Highway 71 just five miles west of Spicewood in Burnet County.
Vinger said Horn was traveling westbound in a pickup truck and struck the left front of Rutland’s Nissan Altima as he attempted to swerve away. He said the vehicle went up on the driver’s side of the vehicle like a ramp. The speed of the vehicles is undetermined at this time.
“Horn told investigators that he had fallen asleep,” Vinger said. “We are not drawing any conclusions. We will see where the investigation takes us.”
Vinger said at this time no criminal charges related to the accident have been filed against Horn.
Horn is currently in custody in the Burnet County jail for outstanding warrants including obstruction and retaliation, a third-degree felony and failure to appear on a traffic charge, and driving while license is invalid.
According to court records, Horn’s retaliation offense stemmed from him making life threatening comments to a man helping police solve a burglary case in Llano, where a number of firearms were stolen. Court records state Horn was a suspect in the disposal of the rest of the firearms that were not recovered. He was arrested on the same felony retaliation charge for threatening the life of another witness in the same case.
The affidavit states Horn’s mother told police her son was perfectly capable of carrying out these types of threats due to his long-term drug use altering his judgment and personality.
According to Bisnette, the Rutlands were on their way to Russell’s brother’s house in Spicewood to drop off the children, so he could attend his nephew’s high school graduation.
Visitation is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Marble Falls. Services are set for 2 p.m. June 12 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Lakeland Hills Memorial Park in Burnet County.
Contact Stephanie Flemmons at email@example.com
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