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13-year-old drove pickup in Texas crash that killed 9 – Press Telegram

By CEDAR ATTANASIO, JILL BLEED and ANITA SNOW

HOBBS, NM (AP) – Investigation into this week’s fiery frontal crash in West Texas now focuses on the revelation that a 13-year-old man was driving a van that hit a van, killing nine people, including six members. of a college golf team and its coach.

The young teenager, who has not yet been identified, and a man traveling in the truck also died.

Bruce Landsberg, vice president of the National Transportation Safety Board, revealed Thursday that the truck was driven by the child. He said the left front tire of the truck, which was a spare tire, exploded before the impact.

The van crossed in the opposite lane on the dark two-lane road before colliding head-on with the van. Both vehicles caught fire.

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

Landsberg said investigators hoped to retrieve enough information from the vehicle’s recorders, if they survived, to understand what happened. He said many in the van were not wearing seat belts and at least one was kicked out of the vehicle.

It is not uncommon for young people to drive in that region and in other more rural parts of the United States. You have to be 14 years old in Texas to start taking classes in the classroom to get a student license and 15 to receive that provisional license to drive with a licensed instructor or adult in the vehicle.

Sergeant of the Department of Public Security. Victor Taylor said a 13-year-old man he was driving would be breaking the law.

Southwestern University students, including one from Portugal and one from Mexico, and the coach were returning from a golf tournament in Midland, Texas, when the vehicles collided on Tuesday night. Two Canadian students were hospitalized in critical condition.

The NTSB sent an investigation team to the crash site in Andrews County, Texas, about 50 miles east of the New Mexico State Line.

University of the Southwest spokeswoman María Duarte declined to comment on the NTSB’s announcement about the young driver, citing the ongoing investigation. The private Christian college is located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the Texas State Line.

Golf teams were traveling in a 2017 Ford Transit van towing a trailer when it collided with a 2007 Dodge 2500 van, according to NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.

The speed limit at the crash site is 75 mph (120 km / h), he said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the deceased as: 26-year-old golf coach Tyler James 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.

Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole County, Texas, and the 13-year-old boy in the truck were also killed.

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

“They are stable and recovering, and they are making more and more progress every day,” Southwestern University Rector Ryan Tipton said Thursday.

“One of the students is eating chicken soup,” Tipton said, describing his recovery as “a game of inches.”

Tipton said university president Quint Thurman visited the parents of the students at the hospital, illustrating the nearby community at the college with only about 350 students on campus.

“Hockey has been a big part of life for a while, but his real passion is golf,” said Underhill’s brother, Drew Underhill.

The Mexican Golf Federation has published online a note of condolences to the loved ones of Mauricio Sánchez.

Sousa was from the south coast of Portugal, where he graduated from high school last summer before going to university in the United States, said Renata Afonso, head of Loulé High School.

A memorial was installed on the golf course near the campus where the team practices on Wednesday, with flowers, golf balls and a handmade poster. Religious counseling and services were available on campus.

About 150 people flocked Thursday night to remember Jackson Zinn at the Texas Roadhouse, a restaurant where he worked and met his five-month-old girlfriend.

“We met right here at this table,” said Maddy Russell, 20, of Hobbs. “It was my heart.”

The mourners released about 100 blue and orange balloons against the cold wind from eastern New Mexico, which soon disappeared on the horizon.

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Bleed reported Little Rock, Arkansas, and Snow reported Phoenix. Associated Press writers Jake Bleiberg and Jamie Stengle in Dallas, Rob Gillies in Toronto, and Barry Hatton in Lisbon contributed to this report.

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Attanasio is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national nonprofit service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on poorly covered topics. Follow Attanasio on Twitter.

13-year-old drove pickup in Texas crash that killed 9 – Press Telegram Source link 13-year-old drove pickup in Texas crash that killed 9 – Press Telegram

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