A 13-year-old was driving a pickup truck that crashed right into a van carrying members of a New Mexico college’s golf groups, killing 9 folks in West Texas on Tuesday evening, officers stated Thursday.
An early investigation revealed that the truck had a spare wheel in place of its left entrance tire, in line with National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg. That spare tire appeared to have failed, inflicting the truck to swerve in entrance of the van.
“A 13-year-old child was behind the wheel of the pickup truck,” Landsberg stated throughout a Thursday press convention.
The wheel didn’t look like an emergency-use “donut” spare, however was much like the remainder of the tires. The left entrance tire had a metal rim that remained intact whereas the three tires have been extensively broken.
The van was carrying members of the University of the Southwest males’s and girls’s golf groups, who have been touring for a match.
Six of the scholar athletes have been killed in the crash, together with a coach.The 13-year-old pickup truck driver and a passenger, 38-year-old Henrich Siemens, have been additionally killed in the crash.
The division recognized the fatally injured coach and crew 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 2 different folks in the van, have been listed in vital situation. Landsberg didn’t have an replace on their situation Thursday.
The Texas Department of Public Safety made the willpower that the kid was driving based mostly on the identification of the stays in the motive force seat following a put up crash hearth, Landsberg stated.
Landsberg famous that the NTSB is an impartial company that will examine the crash however will not be concerned with potential legal expenses.
NTSB investigators are nonetheless seeking to see whether or not the car recorders survived the crash to obtain knowledge on how briskly they have been going previous to the accident. The pace restrict on the freeway is 75 mph.
“It was very clearly a high speed, head-on collision between two heavy vehicles,” Landsberg stated. “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 sporting seatbelts throughout the crash, and a least one was ejected from the car throughout the collision.
The NTSB preliminary report can be launched in roughly two to a few weeks, however a closing report won’t be launched for 12 to 18 months, in line with Landsberg.
Highways see a uniquely excessive quantity 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 stated.