A devastating auto accident took the lives of two ROTC cadets from Texas A&M early Sunday morning, when a Ford Mustang collided with the students' SUV on Highway 290 in Waller.
After spending their Saturday judging a high school drill competition, three freshman University of Corps cadets were driving overnight to College Station for an official event the next morning.
Tragedy struck when 21-year-old Katie Thomas crashed head-on into students' Ford Explorer as she drove the wrong direction on Highway 290.
But tragedy struck at 3:30 a.m. that night, when 21-year-old Katie Thomas crashed head-on into the students' Ford Explorer as she drove the wrong direction on 290. She died at the scene, according to deputies with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
The SUV quickly caught fire after the collision and continued to travel westbound before stopping along the shoulder. Trapped inside, 18-year-old cadets Amy Pacheco and Miguel Hernandez perished in the flames. The third student — 18-year-old Francisco Campos, who was Pacheco's boyfriend — managed to escape and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.
Law enforcement notes that Thomas' 2005 white Mustang contained several beer bottles and that investigators believe alcohol was involved in the accident.
"We offer our sincerest condolences, thoughts and prayers to their family and friends and ask everyone to respect these families and our cadets as we mourn during these trying times," A&M commander Joe E. Ramirez Jr. tells KHOU.
In memory of Pacheco and Hernandez, Texas A&M ROTC will conduct a special taps memorial Monday evening at 10:30 p.m. on the university quad. The ceremony is open to anyone wishing to attend.
Watch the full KHOU report: