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Shiner man dies in collision with 18-wheeler in Yoakum

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
May 1, 2011 at 12:01 a.m.


A 45-year-old Shiner man died at 9 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of alternate U.S. 77 and state Highway 95 in Yoakum.

Bernard Pustka was traveling east on Highway 95 in a 2005 Pontiac utility vehicle and stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of the two highways, a Department of Public Safety spokesman in San Antonio said.

As Pustka proceeded into the intersection, he was hit by a 1999 Peterbilt 18-wheeler truck driven by Kenneth Rougeau, who was driving south on alternate U.S. 77.

The collision pushed Pustka's Pontiac into a vacant vehicle parked on the side of the road.

Rougeau, of Houston, was not injured, according to the DPS report.

A member of Pustka's family said he had recently left 7:30 a.m. Mass at the Shiner Catholic church, 306 S. Avenue F.

We reacted "with heartache and shock," Pustka's brother-in-law Harry Bashaw said.

A statement from the family said Bernard "Bob" August Pustka Jr. was hard-working and had a caring heart.

"In addition to maintaining a working farm with his mother and one of his brothers, he cared for pigeons, chickens and his three dogs Snowball, Elvis and Blackie. He never met a dog he didn't like, and he will be missed by his mother, two brothers, three sisters, nieces, nephews and two great-nephews, as he joins his father in heaven," the statement read.

Pustka was a native of Shiner, active in his church, and involved with his family electric business Pustka Electric Services, as well as the Pustka family farm in Shiner.

Funeral services are pending with Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum.

No citations were issued in the wreck.

DPS Trooper Craig Wycoff investigated the wreck. Lavaca County Justice of the Peace Michael Andes conducted the inquest at the scene.

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