NTSB investigates Texas accident that killed 9 people and seriously injured two college golfers – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

ANDREWS COUNTY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Two survivors of an accident in West Texas that killed nine people remain in hospital, and a federal investigator with them is looking for an answer to what caused the clash on Tuesday night.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Dodge 2,500 pickup truck veered into an approaching lane of a highway near Andrews, Texas, and struck a Ford Transit minibus carrying members of the University of Southwest University of New Mexico.

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“For unknown reasons, the Dodge pickup went into the north lane and hit the head of a Ford minibus,” DPS Sgt. Said Stephen Blanco.

Six students and a coach, a pickup truck driver and a 13-year-old passenger were killed in the minibus. Two more golfers were in critical condition at the University of Texas Medical Center at Lubbock University, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The National Transportation Security Council is sending a team of 12 people to investigate. Spokesman Eric Weiss said on Wednesday that the fire burned both cars after a “high-energy” head-on collision along FM 1788 north of SH 115.

According to Broadcastify.com, which monitors radio traffic between many emergency departments, a dispatcher told ambulances that two cars were on fire with people trapped inside.

One of the first intruders said: “I have all the units, the destroyed units on both sides of the highway, the cars are fully operational. I’m still trying to get on stage and see what we have. “

School officials said members of Southwestern University’s men’s and women’s golf teams were returning to their hobbies, New Mexico, from a tournament in Midland, Texas.

The rest of the two-day tournament, hosted by Midland College, has been canceled. Midland College Athletic Director Forrest Allen said 11 schools with both men’s and women’s teams took part in the competition.

Meteorologists say the weather was clear and foggy in the area of ​​the accident on Tuesday evening. There was no freezing temperature and the wind was light.

The speed limit on the two-lane road is 75 mph, Weiss from NTSB added, adding that the speed of vehicles was not immediately known.

“My teammates and coach are gone”

As investigators try to determine the cause of the deadly clash, Southwestern University is dealing an emotional blow to its community.

A statement from the university said, “The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today to mourn the loss of our university family members.”

Laci Stone (credit: Southwest University)

One family member said one of the victims was Laci Stone, a freshman on the North Texas women’s golf team who specializes in global business management.

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“Last night, Lacin’s golf team had an accident while leaving a golf tournament. Our sweet Lachim failed. ” Lacin’s mother, Chelsea Stone, wrote on Facebook. “It simply came to our notice then. He has been the sunshine of the earth for so long. ”

Laci, 18, of Nocona, Texas, was one of three sisters.

“We will never be the same again and we don’t understand how it happened to our amazing, beautiful, smart, cheerful daughter,” said her mother.

Nocona is about 110 miles northwest of Dallas.

The school identified the other dead as 19-year-old Mexican Mauricio Sanchez; Travis Garcia, 19, Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, Fort Stockton, Texas; and 18-year-old Thiago Sousa from Portugal.

USW President Quint Thurman has confirmed the death of coach Tyler James.

“Great coach and great man,” Thurman said in an email. “Don’t make them better!”

In his autobiography on the school’s website, James said he was in his first season as head coach and played golf at the University of Ottawa and Howard Payne University.

Phillip Lopez, a freshman who did not participate in the tournament, said, “He was always interested in us and always made sure we did well on and off the golf course.”

“I just can’t believe my teammates and my coach are gone,” Lopez said.

The driver of the Dodge pickup was identified as Henrik Siemens, 38, of Seminole, Texas; The name of the 13-year-old male passenger in the truck was not disclosed.

Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, were hospitalized. GoFundMe has started collecting donations to help cover the funeral and medical expenses of the victims.

A memorial to flowers and golf balls was erected at the Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs, the team’s home course.

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The CNN Wire ™ and © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., WarnerMedia contributed to this report.)

NTSB investigates Texas accident that killed 9 people and seriously injured two college golfers – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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