3.9k Share this

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 press conference.

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

March 17, 202202:14

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 department 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.

Image:
Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers look over the scene of a fatal car wreck, in Andrews County, Texas, on March 16, 2022.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 to see 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.”

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

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 equivalent of a Boeing 737” are killed on the nation’s highways.

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

Source: This post first appeared on NBC News

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Elon Musk accuses Bill Gates of funding his critics as feud between the billionaires deepens

Elon Musk has deepened his feud with fellow billionaire Bill Gates, tweeting…

German ‘heiress’ Anna Sorokin, 31, rather be in prison in Unites States than free in Germany

Fake German ‘heiress’ Anna Sorokin would rather fight her deportation status while…
Monkeypox: US in process of releasing vaccine from national stockpile for 'high-risk' people, CDC says

Monkeypox: US in process of releasing vaccine from national stockpile for ‘high-risk’ people, CDC says

WASHINGTON — The United States is responding to a request for the…
Man charged in firing shots at off-duty sheriff's officer in Millennium Park

Two 12-year-old boys charged with attempted carjacking in Homan Square

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two 12-year-old boys were arrested Monday for trying to…
Wisconsin bear attack: Medford couple kills wild animal that attacked them in their home, Taylor County Sheriff's office says

Wisconsin bear attack: Medford couple kills wild animal that attacked them in their home, Taylor County Sheriff’s office says

MEDFORD, Wis. — A Wisconsin couple say they killed a bear that…
Mallory Pugh scores first goal of season as Red Stars beat Orlando Pride

Mallory Pugh scores first goal of season as Red Stars beat Orlando Pride

ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS) — Mallory Pugh and the Red Stars took on the…

‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ Too Easy to Get

While covering the heinous attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas,…

Rebekah Vardy beams as she arrives to watch husband Jamie on final day of Premier League season

Rebekah Vardy has been snapped enjoying a welcome reprieve from the Wagatha…