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    The child was driving the truck that swerved into a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest golf teams Tuesday night, officials said.

    U.S. NEWS

    13-year-old was driving truck in Texas crash that killed 9, including New Mexico college golfers

    The child was driving the truck that swerved into a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest golf teams Tuesday night, officials said.

    March 17, 2022, 8:53 PM UTC / Updated March 17, 2022, 11:33 PM UTC

    By Doha Madani

    A 13-year-old was driving a pickup truck that crashed into a van carrying members of a New Mexico university's golf teams, killing nine people in West Texas on Tuesday night, officials said Thursday.

    An early investigation revealed that the truck had a spare wheel in place of its left front tire, according to National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg. That spare tire seemed to have failed, causing the truck to swerve in front of the van.

    "A 13-year-old child was behind the wheel of the pickup truck," Landsberg said during a Thursday news conference.

    The wheel did not appear to be an emergency-use "doughnut" spare, but was similar to the rest of the tires. The left front tire had a steel rim that remained intact while the three other tires were extensively damaged.

    Crash that killed members of college golf team: New details emerge

    The van was carrying members of the University of the Southwest men’s and women’s golf teams, who were traveling for a tournament.

    Six of the student-athletes were killed in the crash, along with a coach. The 13-year-old pickup truck driver and a passenger, 38-year-old Henrich Siemens, were also killed in the crash.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the fatally injured coach and team members Wednesday as Tyler James, 26; Mauricio Sanchez, 19; Travis Garcia, 19; Jackson Zinn, 22; Karisa Raines, 21; Laci Stone, 18; and Tiago Sousa, 18.

    Dayton Price, 19, and Hayden Underhill, 20, the two other people in the van, were listed in critical condition. Landsberg did not have an update on their condition Thursday.

    Texas Department of Public Safety troopers look over the scene of a fatal car wreck, in Andrews County, Texas, on Wednesday.Eli Hartman / Odessa American via AP

    The Texas Department of Public Safety made the determination that the child was driving based on the identification of the remains in the driver seat following a post-crash fire, Landsberg said.

    Landsberg noted that the NTSB is an independent agency that will investigate the crash but is not involved with potential criminal charges.

    NTSB investigators are still looking into whether the vehicle recorders survived the crash to download data on how fast they were going prior to the accident. The speed limit on the highway is 75 mph.

    "It was very clearly a high-speed, head-on collision between two heavy vehicles," Landsberg said. "We have literally thousands of pictures that were taken by the various first responders, and there is no question about the force of impact."

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    Several passengers in the van appeared to not have been wearing seatbelts during the crash, and at least one was ejected from the vehicle during the collision.

    A damaged pickup truck on the side of the road at the scene of a fatal car wreck in Andrews County, Texas, on March 16, 2022.Eli Hartman / Odessa American via AP

    The NTSB preliminary report will be released in approximately two to three weeks, but a final report will not be released for 12 to 18 months, according to Landsberg.

    Highways see a uniquely high amount of fatalities, with Landsberg noting that the number of people killed every two days on the nation’s highways is "the equivalent of a Boeing 737."

    "The carnage on our highways exceeds any other mode of transportation," he said. "In no other mode would we tolerate 100-plus fatalities each and every day. ... So we think it’s high time we take our driving a bit more seriously."

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    13

    The coach and most of the University of the Southwest golf team were killed.

    13-year-old driving truck in crash that killed 7 members of college golf team: NTSB

    The coach and most of the University of the Southwest golf team were killed.

    ByMark Osborne andIvan Pereira

    17 March 2022, 21:51

    • 5 min read

    1:29

    13-year-old reportedly behind wheel of fatal truck crash

    The National Transportation Safety Board said a 13-year-old was driv...

    Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP

    A 13-year-old was at the wheel of the pickup truck that swerved in front of a van carrying the University of the Southwest's men's and women's golf teams, killing nine people, including the underage driver, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Six members of the team and the head coach were killed in the crash. Two remain in critical condition at a Texas hospital.

    NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told reporters that the Dodge 2500 Ram pickup truck driven by the teen was traveling northbound near Midland, Texas, on Tuesday night when it crossed into the southbound lane and collided head on with the 17-seat passenger van carrying the golf teams. The truck's left front tire was a spare that failed and caused the vehicle to pull hard left and cross into the opposing lane, according to the NTSB.

    In addition to the 13-year-old, whose name was not released, a 38-year-old man, Henrich Siemens, was in the Dodge pickup. Both were killed, as well as the coach, Tyler James, and six golfers in the passenger van.

    Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP

    A damaged pickup truck sits on the side of the road at the scene of a...

    The players who died were identified as Maurico Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karissa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.

    The two passengers in the team van who survived the wreck, Dayton Price,19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, remain hospitalized as of Thursday in Lubbock, Texas, according to the University of the Southwest.

    Investigators were able to determine the teen was in the driver's seat based on the size of the remains inside the truck, according to Landsberg.

    MORE: Coach, 6 members of college golf team among 9 killed in head-on Texas crash

    Landsberg said his team is going through all of the evidence at the scene, including vehicle recorders, but it does appear that the incident was "very clearly a high speed, head-on collision." Both vehicles burst into flames after the crash.

    "We have literally thousands of pictures that were taken by the various first responders, and there is no question about the force of impact," he said.

    Landsberg added that "quite a number of the bus passengers were not wearing seatbelts," during the incident.

    Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP

    University of the Southwest golfers from left, Halie Cruz, Phillip Lope...

    The NTSB will release a preliminary report on its investigation in two to three weeks, Landsberg said.

    Ryan Tipton, the provost of the University of the Southwest, provided an update on the two injured students during a news conference Thursday and said the school would be supporting them during their long journey.

    "Every day is a game of inches, and every hour is one step closer to another day," he said.

    Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP

    Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers look over the scene of a...

    Tipton said most students are off campus for spring break but the school is planning to hold a memorial service in honor of those who died when classes resume.

    "We are a family of Mustangs," he said, referring to the school's mascot. "We've run as one, we run together and [when] one of us is hurting, all of us are hurting."

    Alex Stone reports for ABC Audio:

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    NTSB: 13

    Nine people, including six students and a coach from the University of the Southwest’s golf teams, were killed in Tuesday’s crash.

    NTSB Says 13-Year-Old Was Driving Pickup Truck in Deadly Crash Involving University of the Southwest Golf Team

    Author: Associated Press Publish date: 13 hours ago

    HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said Thursday that a 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck that struck a van in West Texas in a fiery collision that killed nine people.

    The truck’s left front tire, which was a spare tire, also blew out before impact, Landsberg said.

    One must be 14 in Texas to start taking classroom courses for a learner’s license and 15 to receive that provisional license to drive with an instructor or licensed adult in the vehicle. Department of Public Safety Sgt. Victor Taylor said a 13-year-old driving would be breaking the law.

    Although it was unclear how fast the two vehicles were traveling, “this was clearly a high-speed collision,” Landsberg said.

    .

    The pickup truck crossed into the opposite lane on a darkened, two-lane West Texas highway Tuesday night before colliding head-on with a van, killing nine people including six New Mexico college students and a golf coach, as well as a 13-year-old boy.

    The University of the Southwest students, including one from Portugal and one from Mexico, and the coach were returning from a golf tournament. Also killed in Tuesday evening’s fiery crash was a man in the pickup with the boy. Two Canadian students were hospitalized in critical condition.

    The National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigative team to the crash site in Texas’ Andrews County, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of the New Mexico state line.

    The golf teams were traveling in a 2017 Ford Transit van that was towing a box trailer when it collided with the truck, and both vehicles burst into flames, according to NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.

    He said the vehicles collided on a two-lane asphalt highway where the speed limit is 75 mph (120 kph), though investigators have not yet determined how fast either vehicle was traveling.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the deceased as: Golf coach Tyler James, 26, of Hobbs, New Mexico; and players Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.

    Also killed were Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole County, Texas, and an unidentified 13-year-old boy who were in the 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Steven Blanco said Thursday that investigators have not yet confirmed who was driving either vehicle because of the severity of the crash and the fire that occurred afterward.

    Critically injured aboard the van were Canadian students Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario. Both were taken by helicopter to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) to the northeast.

    “They are both stable and recovering and every day making more and more progress,” University of the Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton said Thursday of the two injured students.

    Underhill’s brother Drew said their parents, Ken and Wendy, flew to Texas.

    “Hockey was a big part of life for a while, but his true passion is golf,” Drew Underhill said. “From a small town in Ontario, he’s doing OK.”

    The Mexican Federation of Golf posted an online note of condolence to the loved ones of Mauricio Sanchez.

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    Sousa was from Portugal’s southern coast, where he graduated from high school last summer before heading to college in the U.S., said Renata Afonso, head of the Escola Secundária de Loulé.

    “Any school would be delighted to have had him as a student,” she said.

    Stone’s mother wrote of her loss on Facebook Wednesday.

    “She has been an absolute ray of sunshine during this short time on earth,” Chelsi Stone said in a post. “We will never be the same after this and we just don’t understand how this happened to our amazing, beautiful, smart, joyful girl.”

    Stone graduated in 2021 from Nocona High School, where she played golf, volleyball and softball. She was a freshman majoring in global business management, according to her biography on the golf team’s website.

    James’ mother, June James, said she knew little about the circumstances of the collision. He coached the men and the women.

    “We don’t know what happened. It’s a huge investigation. We don’t have any idea as of yet,” James said during a brief phone interview.

    Team member Jasmin Collum had been scheduled to play but at the last minute decided instead to visit her parents in Houston, her mother said.

    “We knew all those people on board,” Tonya Collum said. “Basically the whole team is gone or in the hospital.”

    The University of the Southwest is a private, Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the state line with Texas.

    A memorial was set up Wednesday at the course near campus where the team practices. There were flowers, golf balls and a handmade sign with a cross and the initials USW.

    Source : www.si.com

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