ODESSA, Texas – In a news conference Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board said a 13-year-old boy was behind the wheel of the Dodge truck that hit the 17-passanger van carrying members of the University of the Southwest golf team home from a tournament.
Nine people died in that crash– six USW students, the head coach, and the two people inside the Dodge. Two other students were taken to Lubbock hospitals in critical condition.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
According to the NTSB, the left front tire, which was a spare, failed and caused the vehicle to pull hard to the left, crossing into the opposing lane.
“Various aspects of highway safety have been on the NTSB’s most wanted list for a number of years; DUI, distracted driving, youthful driving, tire safety, post crash fire, excess of speed on rural highways, seatbelt use and ejections. We’re not here to speculate on the probable cause at this point, nor are we involved in any criminal aspect of this investigation,” said NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg.
Interested in jewelry heists gone wrong, other strange news? Check out Weird News
And while the NTSB didn’t want to speculate on many aspects of the on-going investigation, Landsberg did say that the condition of the vehicles post crash indicated a high speed head on crash. Additionally, some students in the van were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, at least one person was ejected from the van.