NTSB says Texas man, not 13-year old son, was driving truck that struck and killed college golf team

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After initially suggesting that a 13-year old boy had been driving a pickup truck that struck a van carrying members of a New Mexico college golf team, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that the truck involved in the accident had been driven by the boy’s father. The NTSB stated in a preliminary report that DNA testing confirmed 38-year-old Henrich Siemens was at the wheel in the March 15 crash that killed six members of the University of the Southwest’s golf team.

The accident occurred when a Dodge 2500 pickup truck being driven by Siemens veered across the center line of a two-lane road in Andrews County, Texas. The truck collided with a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest men’s and women’s golf teams, who had been returning home from a tournament. The ensuing collision resulted in both vehicles catching fire and burning.

Nine people died in the crash, including University golf coach Tyler James, six students, Siemens and his son. Two others were also seriously injured.

The NTSB stated that toxicological testing of Siemens’ blood showed that he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash. In addition, the NTSB also shared that there was no evidence of “sudden or rapid loss of tire air pressure or any other indicators of catastrophic failure”, as they had suggested was the case in March. Initial reports suggested that the crash had been caused when the pickup truck suffered a left front tire failure.

“The crash remains under investigation, and analysis of the crash facts, along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause, will come at a later date, when the final report on the investigation is completed,” read the NTSB report.

The Andrews County area where the crash occurred has seen two fatal accidents involving a school team in the past year. Last November, the Andrews High School band director and two others were killed when a pickup truck crashed into a school bus carrying the school’s band.

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