According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a 13-year-old was in the wheel of a pickup truck that went in front of a van carrying male and female golf teams from the University of the Southwest, killing nine people, including the underage driver.
Six members of the team and head coach were killed in the accident. The condition of the two is critical in a hospital in Texas.
NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told reporters that the Dodge 2500 Ram pickup truck driven by the teenager was heading north near Midland, Texas, Tuesday night when it crossed the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 17-seater passenger van carrying golf. According to the team NTSB, the left front tire of the truck had a spare that failed and the car had to be pulled to the hard left and cross the opposite lane.
In addition to the 13-year-old, whose name has not been released, a 38-year-old man, Henrik Siemens, was in the Dodge pickup. Both were killed, along with the coach, Tyler James, and six golfers in the passenger van.
The deceased was identified as Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico. Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Jean, 22, Westminster, Colorado; Carissa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Lacy Stone, 18, of Nakona, Texas; And Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.
According to the University of the Southwest, two passengers in the team van who survived the wreckage were hospitalized in Missouri, Dayton Price, 19, of Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, in Lubbock, Texas, until Thursday. .
According to Landsberg, investigators were able to determine if the teenager was in the driver’s seat based on the size of the remains inside the truck.
Landsberg said his team was going through all the evidence at the scene, including the vehicle’s recorder, but found that the incident was “very clearly a high-speed, head-on collision.” Both the vehicles caught fire after the accident.
“We have literally thousands of pictures that were taken by various first responders and there is no question about the power of influence,” he said.
Landsberg added that “a large number of bus passengers were not wearing seatbelts” at the time of the incident.
The NTSB will release a preliminary report of its investigation in two to three weeks, Landsberg said.
Southwest University Provost Ryan Tipton provided an update on the two injured students during a news conference Thursday and said the school would assist them in their long journey.
“Every day plays an inch, and every hour is one step closer to another day,” he said.
Tipton said most students are off campus for the spring break, but the school plans to hold a memorial service in honor of those who died after classes resumed.
“We are a family of Mustangs,” he said, referring to the school’s mascot. “We ran as one, we ran together and [when] One of us is in pain, we are all in pain. “
Alex Stone reports for ABC Audio: