A car crash in West Texas has resulted in the death of nine people, including an entire college golf team and a child. NBC News reports that the accident was the result of a child behind the wheel of a truck that was equipped with the wrong tire.
On the night of March 16th, a van carrying the golf team from New Mexico’s University of the Southwest was on their way to a West Texas golf tournament when the accident occurred. According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, a 13-year-old was behind the wheel of a truck thats swerved into the oncoming lane and crashed into the team’s van. While it’s obvious a child shouldn’t have been behind the wheel of a truck, it seems the cause of the accident was a spare tire failure. From NBC:
An early investigation revealed that the truck had a spare wheel in place of its left front tire, according to National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg. That spare tire seemed to have failed, causing the truck to swerve in front of the van.
The wheel did not appear to be an emergency-use “doughnut” spare, but was similar to the rest of the tires. The left front tire had a steel rim that remained intact while the three other tires were extensively damaged.
Along with the child that was behind the wheel of the truck, a 38-year-old passenger was also killed. The nine killed in the van were: Tyler James, 26; Mauricio Sanchez, 19; Travis Garcia, 19; Jackson Zinn, 22; Karisa Raines, 21; Laci Stone, 18; and Tiago Sousa, 18.
Two other passengers from the van were taken to the hospital and are in critical condition. Details from the crash show that everything that could go wrong went wrong. Investigators say that it looks as if several of the golf team members didn’t have their seatbelts on. The crash also looks to have happened at a high rate of speed, with investigators currently attempting to collect data from the crash.