The Charlotte Observer
Investigators announced that a 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck that crashed head-on with a college golf team’s van, killing nine people in Texas.
The University of the Southwest’s men’s and women’s golf teams were heading to their New Mexico campus after competing in Midland, Texas, the night of Tuesday, March 15, McClatchy News reported.
Six students and their coach were killed in the fiery wreck along FM 1788, east of Andrews. Both occupants of the truck also died.
Officials were initially uncertain what caused the truck to veer into the opposite lane, causing the collision.
During a March 17 news conference, National Transportation Safety Board vice chairman Bruce Landsberg shed light on what happened.
While the 13-year-old was behind the wheel of the Dodge 2500, the left front tire “failed,” which caused the truck to pull left into oncoming traffic, Landsberg said.
The tire that failed was a spare, he added.
Two USW students in the van survived the accident and are hospitalized in critical condition.
Landsberg said that the NTSB will continue investigating the crash for months.