ODESSA (KFDX/KJTL) — According to reports from the Associated Press, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson said Thursday a 13-year-old was driving the truck involved in a fiery crash Tuesday night that killed 9, including a golfer from Nocona.
During a press conference with NTSB on Thursday, officials said that the truck’s left front tire, which was a spare tire, had failed which resulted in the vehicle pulling hard to the left.
Around 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, the men’s and women’s golf teams from USW were in a van driven by first-year head coach Tyler James traveling through Andrews County heading back to New Mexico from a tournament in Midland.
Officials said the van crashed with a Dodge 2500 truck after the truck drove into oncoming traffic and hit the van head on. Both vehicles then caught fire.
The driver of the Dodge 2500 was 13 years old, according to reports from the Associated Press. The passenger, first believed to be the driver, was identified as 38-year-old Henrich Siemens, of Seminole.
Six students, the head coach, and the driver and passenger of the Dodge truck were killed and two other students were transported to Lubbock’s hospital in critical condition.
Laci Stone, a graduate of Nocona in 2021, was among the six students who died as a result of the crash.
According to the Nocona ISD Athletics Facebook page, Stone was a Freshman at The University of the Southwest where she played golf for the university.