Groesbeck firefighter, sister in law, expected to make full recovery after fatal crash

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GROESBECK, Texas (KWTX) Groesbeck Fire Department spokesman John Carabin, a lieutenant and chaplain in the department, told KWTX News 10 Wednesday that after visiting with probationary fireman Matthew Koncaba and his teenage sister in law Brianna Ray in a San Antonio hospital, the department expects the two to make full recovery from serious injuries in the tragic one vehicle rollover that took Koncaba's wife's life and the life of his 14 year old sister Hannah Koncaba.

Matt and Lexi Koncaba (Family photo)

A Gonzales County deputy and a jailer pulled a Groesbeck firefighter from a burning truck after a one-vehicle crash Sunday night west of San Antonio that claimed the lives of the firefighter’s wife and younger sister and left his sister-in-law seriously hurt.

Probationary Firefighter Matt Koncaba, 20, suffered what the Groesbeck Fire Department described in a Facebook post Monday as “substantial injuries” in the crash Sunday night.

His wife Lexi, 20, and his younger sister Hannah, 14, died, Groesbeck Fire Chief Patrick Samuels said.

Matt Koncaba was initially admitted to the intensive care unit at University Hospital in San Antonio, but he was listed in good condition Tuesday.

Koncaba’s sister-in-law Breanna Ray, 15, was also seriously injured.

She underwent surgery Monday at University Hospital.

Ray is a Groesbeck High School sophomore, family members said.

Longtime family friend Lisa Stewart visited Ray Monday night at the hospital and said the teenager is in good spirits.

The four were eastbound at around 9 p.m. Sunday on FM 532 between Gonzales and Moulton west of San Antonio en route to Gonzales to visit Matt Koncaba’s father when a tire blew out on the 2005 Dodge Durango in which they were riding.

Lexi Koncaba, who was driving, lost control of the vehicle, which crossed into the westbound lane, skidded sideways off the highway, struck a tree, overturned and landed right side up in a field, Department of Public Safety Cpl. Ron Halub said Monday.

The Durango then burst into flames.

She and Hannah Koncaba, who was in the front passenger seat, died at the scene, Halub said.

Ray was able to crawl out of the rear seat and flagged down a passing driver to summon help, he said.

A Gonzales County deputy who responded to the crash broke out the rear window of the cab of the burning truck and pulled Matt Koncaba to safety, he said.

Matt and Lexi met in October 2014 at a haunted house in Riesel and it was love at first sight, family member Stephanie Owen said.

Matt moved to Groesbeck after the two were married and went to work at a local lumber business.

They purchased the Durango the day before the accident and drove it to Gonzales to visit Matt’s father, Owen said.

Groesbeck Fire Chief, Patrick Samuels, issued the following statement Wednesday;

"Tuesday Groesbeck Fire Department (GFD) Assistant Chief Catlin Samuels and Lieutenant Reverend John Carabin traveled to San Antonio University Hospital and met with Firefighter Matt Koncaba and Brianna Ray. After their visit, we are optimistic that in spite of their injuries, they will both make a full recovery.

After speaking with family members, it is our understanding that the accident was likely caused when the right front tire experienced a blow out causing the vehicle to go into an uncontrollable skid that resulted in the injures to Brianna and Matt and the deaths of the two other occupants of the vehicle.

GFD will be conducting a Fill-the-Helmet fundraiser this weekend... for Matt and will be taking donations to help the Koncaba family. Living Proof Church (LPC) will be conducting fundraisers and taking donations for the Ray family.

Again both GFD and LPC are very optimistic about both patients making a full recovery. This family still needs your continued thoughts and prayers."