(PresidentialHill.com)- On Tuesday, a pickup truck collided with a minibus in a head-on crash, killing six students from a New Mexico university along with their head coach and the two occupants in the pickup truck. The tragic story hit national headlines during the week, but it was just revealed that the driver of the pickup truck…was a 13-year-old boy.
On Thursday, Bruce Landsberg, the vice-chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, described how their preliminary investigation found that the pickup truck was being driven on a spare wheel in place of a left-front tire. The tire had been blown out before the crash occurred. It’s what caused the truck to swerve and hit the minibus head-on as they were driving.
Disturbing images of the crash show both vehicles completely mangled, and both on two different sides of the road. The university students who died in the crash were members of the men’s and women’s golf team, and the coach was identified as Tyler James.
The crash occurred roughly half a mile north of State Highway 115.
The 13-year-old driver was also identified as Ricky Siemens. He was driving with his father. Heinrich Siemens, according to reports. They were traveling to pick up a new car when they crashed. It is unclear why, exactly, the 13-year-old boy had been allowed to drive the truck, especially when it was being driven on a spare wheel.
Agatha Siemens, the widow of the father who died, said that they were driving to pick up a new car and that she was supposed to see them both about two hours after the crash.
Those in the van died not just because of the direct impact from the truck, but because most were not wearing seatbelts. One person was ejected from the vehicle through a window during the crash.
Only two people in the minibus survived. They were 20-year-old Hayden Underhill and 19-year-old Dayton Price. Both are in stable conditions and recovering.