The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Texas crash killed nine people and injured two others said on Thursday that a 13-year-old boy was driving the pickup truck involved in the collision.
The news comes as family and loved ones grieve for the victims of the fiery crash, including six college students and their golf coach. Two other golfers were hospitalized in critical condition. Two people in the truck, including a 13-year-old boy, also died.
Flowers, golf balls and a sign with a cross were placed in memory of the six University of New Mexico students and their golf coach, who were killed Tuesday.
“These kids are amazing kids and they’re amazing, wonderful members of the community,” said Ben Kirkes, manager of Rockwind Community Links, where students intern in Hobbs, New Mexico. know. “They’re polite and they’re just a joy to be around.”
Kirkes helped set up the memorial at the golf course in the city near New Mexico’s southeastern border with Texas.
The pickup truck crossed the center line of a two-lane road and collided with a truck carrying nine students from the boys and girls golf team at Southwest College, a private Christian school nearby. state boundaries. They returned home from a tournament in Midland, Texas.
Head coach Tyler James, 26, of Hobbs, New Mexico, was among those killed. The students killed were identified as: Mauricio Sanchez, 19 years old, Mexican; Travis Garcia, 19 years old, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18 years old, from Portugal.
Henrich Siemans, 38, of Seminole, Texas, was also killed inside the pickup truck.
NTSB Vice President Bruce Landsberg said on Thursday that the collision occurred at high speed and the pickup’s left front tire, which was a spare, blew up before the collision.
In Texas, the minimum age for teenagers to start driving when taking classroom courses is 14, and they must be 15 to receive a provisional license. Department of Public Safety Sgt. Victor Taylor said that a 13-year-old boy driving would be breaking the law.
Southwestern University director Ryan Tipton say Thursday that the two seriously injured students remain in the hospital and are making stable progress.
“There is no indication of how long it will take, but both are stable and recovering and getting better every day,” he told a news conference.
Tipton said a counselor and worship group are on campus to support grieving students.
As a Christian university, he added, “we also place our faith in something bigger than ourselves, and that’s what helps us to heal.”
Here’s what we know about those killed:
Before 18-year-old Laci Stone left college, she asked her mother: She begged her mother to get a suitable tattoo.
Now her mother, Chelsi Stone, is glad she did.
“I’m so grateful that God gave me the courage to get through it and always have this memory with her,” Stone said in a Facebook post, alongside a photo of the two with a small heart tattoo. red on their arms.
Stone remembers her daughter as “an absolute ray of sunshine” and said her family, including her two siblings, are devastated by the loss.
“We will never be the same after this and we just don’t understand how this happened to our wonderful, beautiful, smart, fun girl,” she wrote.
Laci Stone’s last public Facebook post was a happy birthday to her mother last year. Stone, who majored in global business management and dreamed of becoming a business owner, grew up in Nocona, Texas, according to her USW Athletics profile. Her latent talent is juggling, and her favorite ritual is performing God’s prayers.
Stone graduated from Nocona High School, where a softball game on Wednesday was canceled following the crash, School said on Facebook. Instead, dozens of people gathered in the courtyard to pray, and the city’s water tower was lit with orange lights in memory of Stone.
Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado, is majoring in hospital management with minors in sports management, according to his USW Athletics profile. He graduated from Ralston Valley High School in Colorado in 2018 before attending the New Mexico Military Academy from 2018 to 2019.
His pastor, Rick Long, told KUSA-TV that Zinn was “loving and kind” and close to his parents and two younger sisters. Long said he is also an excellent student with a 4.0 GPA this year.
“If someone could book everything in 22 years, Jackson did,” Long said.
Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas, majored in criminal justice and wants to be a professional golfer or work for the Secret Service, according to his USW Athletics profile. He graduated from Pleasanton High School in 2021 and lives with his parents and one sibling, according to records.
Tab Dumont, athletic director of the Pleasanton Independent School District, told KSAT that the district is “shocked and saddened.”
Dumont said: “Travis is not only a phenomenal golfer and a great kid, but he comes from a wonderful family. “His mother used to work in the district, and Travis has done great things in college and in life.”
Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas, is a biology major who hopes to become a forensic scientist, according to her USW Athletics profile. Her favorite pre-match rituals are prayer and listening to music, and her favorite sport’s celebration is participating in a hole-in-the-wall for the first time.
Her father, Gary Raines, mourned his “beautiful baby girl” on Facebook and posted a link to a verified GoFundMe page to support her family.
The GoFundMe page reported: “The Raines family has endured such tragedy losing their daughter Karisa.” “If you see it in your heart, any amount will help this family cover the necessary expenses during this difficult time. Karisa was a beautiful and kind soul who will be greatly missed by everyone. .
Mauricio Sanchez, 19 years old, Mexican, freshman, according to his USW Athletics profiledo not include any other details.
Tiago Sousa, 18 years old, Portuguese, a freshman, according to his USW Athletics profiledo not include any other details.
Coach Tyler James
Tyler James, 26, is in his first season as head coach of the USW men’s and women’s golf programs, according to his college bio. James also helps coach golf teams at Brownwood High School in Texas, Howard Payne University, and East Texas Baptist University. He played college golf at the University of Ottawa in Kansas and Howard Payne University in Texas.
“It was his dream job – to be a head coach – and he is living his dream,” said Ryan Erwin, vice president of student engagement and athletics at the University. East Texas Baptist in Marshall said.
Troy Drummond, head golf coach at Howard Payne University, said James played for three years at Howard Payne and helped coach the team last year. “He has a passion for golf,” says Drummond. “…He eats, sleeps, and drinks golf quite a bit.”
There was no immediate information about Henrich Siemans, 38, of Seminole, Texas, or the 13-year-old.
Two students were seriously injured
An additional GoFundMe page was organized to help the family of 19-year-old Dayton Price, one of the students who was injured and taken to the hospital. Price, of Mississauga, Ontario, is in critical condition with most of his body suffering third-degree burns, according to GoFundMe.
The site’s organizers call Price “our beloved friend and rising Canadian golf superstar” and hope for a speedy recovery “so he can get back to what he does.” best and represents Canada in his favorite game… Golf.”
The parents of 20-year-old Hayden Underhill, who were also injured in the crash, were on a plane to Texas on Wednesday, his brother, Drew Underhill, said. Underhill from Amherstview, Ontario
“Hockey was an important part of life for a while, but his real passion was golf,” Drew Underhill said of his brother.
Contributors: Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY; Related press