ANDREWS, Texas (KXAN) — The National Transportation Safety Board said a child was driving the truck involved in a deadly crash Tuesday night outside of Midland, which killed nine people, according to the Associated Press. The child also died in the crash.
Officials from a New Mexico university confirmed Wednesday seven members of its golf program died in the crash Tuesday.
Both men’s and women’s golf teams from the University of the Southwest, located in Hobbs, New Mexico, were returning to campus from a tournament in Midland when a Dodge pickup drove into the other lane and collided head on with the team’s Ford Transit van. The crash happened at 8:17 p.m. near the intersection of State Highway 115 and FM 1788 near Andrews, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Texas DPS identified the two people killed in the Dodge pickup as Henrich Siemens, 38, and a 13-year-old boy, both of Seminole, Texas.
Those killed in the golf teams’ van included:
- Tyler James, 26 (Hobbs, New Mexico)
- Maurico Sanchez, 19 (Mexico)
- Travis Garcia, 19 (Pleasanton, Texas)
- Jackson Zinn, 22 (Westminster, Colo.)
- Karissa Raines, 21 (Fort Stockton, Texas)
- Laci Stone, 18 (Nocona, Texas)
- Tiago Sousa, 18 (Portugal)
According to NTSB, the truck’s left front tire, which was a spare, blew out before the impact.
Two others from the golf teams’ van — a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, both from Canada — are currently listed in critical condition at a Lubbock hospital, according to DPS.
Andrews is a town in West Texas about 45 miles north of Midland and 53 miles from Hobbs. Hobbs sits just across the Texas-New Mexico border.
Of the seven people who died in the crash from USW, one was the driver and head coach, Tyler James. He was the head coach for both teams, and it was his first year leading the program.
Texas DPS said the Dodge truck was traveling northbound on FM 1788 and, for unknown reasons, drifted into the southbound lane and collided with the team’s van. Both vehicles caught fire after the collision, DPS said.
“The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family,” USW said in a Facebook post Wednesday. “Please keep the families of students, coaching staff, and the USW community in your prayers as we come together to support one another during this difficult time.”
The school said its counseling and worship staff will be available for students, faculty and staff to help them and provide support.
Gov. Greg Abbott responds
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement Wednesday morning, saying he was calling for prayers for the families of those involved.
“We grieve with the loved ones of the individuals whose lives were horrifically taken too soon in this fatal vehicle crash near Andrews last night,” Abbott said in a statement. “The Texas Department of Public Safety is working closely with local officials to investigate this accident, and we offer our full support to the University of the Southwest and the state of New Mexico. I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the families of those whose lives were lost and for the recovery of two critically injured students.”
Texas DPS is leading the ongoing crash investigation along with the National Transportation Safety Board.