A 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck that collided with a van in Texas, killing nine people, including six members of a New Mexico college’s men’s and women’s golf team and a coach, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday (March 17).
The fiery, head-on collision in West Texas on Tuesday (March 15) left two others hospitalized.
“A 13-year-old child was behind the wheel of the pickup truck,” NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told a news conference, saying it appeared “that the left front tire which was a spare tire had failed, which resulted in the vehicle pulling hard to the left and crossing into the opposing lane.”
“It was very clearly a high-speed head-on collision between two heavy vehicles,” he added.
A 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup being driven by the 13-year-old struck the 2017 Transit towing an eight-foot cargo trailer and carrying the coach and eight team members of the University of Southwest College golf team, Landsberg said.
USW, a private Christian university in Hobbs, New Mexico, had said its van was carrying nine people, seven of whom died and said two others were in critical condition at a Texas hospital.
The pickup truck’s driver and passenger also died in the crash, which occurred in Andrews County, Texas.
(Production: Njuwa Maina)