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Wife, only survivor of crash that killed Fort Worth CEO and kids, comes home from hospital

Zach Muckleroy and children Judson, 12, and Lindsay, 9, died and mom Lauren was injured in a crash when their SUV was hit head on by another vehicle in Blanco County on Nov. 22.

The only person to survive the crash that killed a Fort Worth CEO and two children just before Thanksgiving was released from the hospital Friday, according to an update from the family on caringbridge.org.

Lauren Muckleroy was released from the Austin hospital where she was taken by helicopter after the wreck in Blanco County in Central Texas. Her husband, Zach Muckleroy, 44, CEO of Muckleroy & Falls construction company, and the couple’s two children — son Judson, 12, and daughter Lindsay, 9 — died in the collision on Nov. 22.

Laruen Muckleroy was released from the hospital Dec. 1. Her family wrote on CaringBridge that she hasn’t been able to find a way to put her experience into words.

“How can you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude but debilitating sadness, utter disbelief and intense anger all at the same time?” the family wrote.

Lauren Muckleroy cried the whole way home to Fort Worth, her family wrote, but as she did she talked about how she felt conflicted, both grateful that she’d survived and how “it did not seem fair or real.”

The family had planned to have a birthday party for Judson the Sunday after the crash happened. Instead, members of the community gathered for a vigil.

While Lauren Muckleroy is on a path to recover physically, including physical therapy and occupational therapy once or twice a week, the emotional healing will be even more difficult, the family wrote on CaringBridge.

When they arrived home Dec. 1, the family wrote they found the front porch covered with poinsettias delivered by relatives, friends and community members. They’ve been a reminder that a little bit of joy is possible, the family wrote.

The collision that killed Lauren Muckleroy’s husband and children happened around 7:15 p.m. Nov. 22 on U.S. 281 near mile marker 460 in Blanco County, near Round Mountain and Johnson City, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety preliminary report on the agency’s investigation.

A man driving a Toyota Tacoma was traveling northbound on U.S. 281. For reasons not known, a Toyota pickup truck crossed the solid double yellow lines into the southbound lanes of the highway and hit the Chevrolet SUV driven by Lauren Muckleroy, according to the report.

A Nissan Versa occupied by a female driver was headed south following the Muckleroy family’s SUV, and the initial collision caused the Nissan to hit the Chevrolet and roll, the report says.

Zach Muckleroy and the children were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Toyota, whose name has not been released, died after he was taken to a hospital.

The driver of the Nissan was treated and released.

No memorial service has been scheduled. “We are waiting for Lauren to get strong enough so her wishes could be honored,” said the Rev. Russ Peterman, of Fort Worth’s University Christian Church, where the vigil was held.

When he had lunch or attended TCU basketball games with Zach, his friend was often greeted by others, Peterman said.

“Everybody knew Zach, and Zach knew everybody,” he said.

Zach Muckleroy was this year chair of the church’s elders and was respected in its congregation.

“He was a man of integrity. Deep integrity,” Peterman said.

Zach Muckleroy, a Fort Worth native, graduated from TCU with a degree in accounting and finance with a real estate concentration, according to his company’s website. He walked onto the TCU football team in 1998, the year the Horned Frogs won the Sun Bowl.

Zach Muckleroy joined the family business in 2009 and took over as CEO of Muckleroy & Falls in 2020. His father, Harold Muckleroy, founded the company more than 40 years ago.

In an interview posted on the company’s website, Zach said, “I have always loved building and constructing things dating back to Lincoln Logs and Legos when I was a kid. I believe you have to have passion and excitement in what you do. I am also a relationship centric person. In this industry you are continuously meeting new people and forging new relationships. The growth of these relationships is a constant reminder of just how small this world really is.”

Lindsay attended Tanglewood Elementary School and Judson was formerly a student at the Fort Worth school, according to friends’ posts on social media.

“This recovery is going to be a marathon and Lauren is going to need continued support for a very long time,” the family wrote on Caring Bridge.