Was a Child Really at the Wheel in That Texas Wreck That Killed 9?
Numerous reports, including CBS and ESPN, are saying that the National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that a 13-year-old was at the wheel of the pickup truck that killed nine people, including six members of a college golf team and their coach, in a fiery crash on a west Texas highway on Tuesday.
The child and a man traveling in the truck also died.
The NTSB says that the truck crossed the center line of a Texas highway before crashing into the van, which was carrying members of the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams.
According to the NTSB initial report, the truck's left front tire, which was a spare, blew out before impact. The blowout caused the pickup to swerve into the path of the van.
The NTSB report added that although they could not determine the exact speed the two vehicles were traveling at impact, but that it was a high speed collision. The posted speed limit on that stretch of highway is 75 miles per hour.
According to Texas law, teenagers can begin drivers education in the classroom at 14, but must be 15-years-old to apply for a learners or beginners driver's permit.
According to CBS News, the seven from the University of the Southwest golf team killed were Travis Garcia, 19; Karissa Raines, 21; Mauricio Sanchez, 19; Tiago Sousa, 18; Laci Stone, 18; and Jackson Zinn, 22 and Coach Tyler James, 26.
CBS says that two other team members, Dayton Price, 19, and Hayden Underhill, 20, were severely injured in the crash and airlifted to a Lubbock hospital. They are in critical condition.
ESPN's report says that the two others killed were 38-year-old Henrich Siemens of Seminole County, Texas, and the as-of-now unidentified 13-year-old boy.