3 Killed in 290 Crash, Including 2 Texas A&M Cadets

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Three people are dead, including two members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, after a fiery wreck on Highway 290.

Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies say the accident happened at 3:30 AM on Highway 290 near Binford Rd. in Waller.

Deputies say a woman in a Ford Mustang was driving the wrong way on the highway, when she collided head-on with a Ford Explorer carrying three freshman cadets.

The driver of the Mustang, Katie Thomas, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Amy Pacheco, 18 years old, was reportedly driving the Explorer. Pacheco and the passenger sitting in the back seat, Miguel Hernandez, 18 years old, were also killed in the accident.

“The Explorer became fully engulfed in flames due to damage it sustained during the crash. Pacheco and the back seat passenger identified as Miguel Hernandez were unable to exit the Explorer and also became engulfed in the flames, which ultimately caused their deaths,” according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say the passenger sitting in the front seat, Francisco Campos, was taken to a Houston-area trauma hospital with critical injuries.

Cadets say the three Aggies were driving back from a JROTC Drill Meet in Houston at the time of the accident.

Authorities say beer bottles were found in the Mustang, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident.

On Monday, Campos underwent surgery for his burns and a broken vertebrae. He told reporters there that he was thankful for a family which had pulled him from the burning car the night of the crash.

Monday night, a memorial service is planned for the two cadets killed in the crash. The ceremony is set to take place at the Texas A&M Quadrangle at 10:30pm, where buglers will give a rendition of "Echo Taps," in which "Taps" is played by two musicians, staggered for effect.

The public is invited to attend that event.