US /

NTSB: Adult Was Driving Pickup in Golf Team Crash

Agency had reported the man's 13-year-old son was at the wheel in fatal collision
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2022 9:04 AM CDT
Updated Jul 14, 2022 6:20 PM CDT
College Golfers, Coach Killed in 'Tragic' Crash in Texas
Emergency responders work the scene of a fatal crash late Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in Andrews County, Texas.   (NewsWest 9 KWES-TV via AP)

Update: A 38-year-old man was driving a pickup truck that collided with a van carrying college golf teams in Texas in March, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday. The agency earlier had said the man's 13-year-old son was at the wheel, but DNA tests showed that wasn't the case, the Washington Post reports. Tests found methamphetamine in the driver's bloodstream, but investigators said they don't know yet whether it was a factor in the accident. Nine people were killed. Our original story from March 16 follows:

College students and their coach are among several people who have died following a collision between a truck and a vehicle carrying the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams. The teams were returning from a tournament at West Texas' Midland College, about 100 miles southeast of the New Mexico university, late Tuesday when their 17-passenger van collided head-on with a Ford F-150 in Texas' Andrews County, the Texas Department of Public Safety said, per ESPN. "It's a very tragic scene," Sgt. Steven Blanco added, describing fatalities in both vehicles.

He said the department would not be releasing the names of the deceased "as we work with the university to confirm and further the investigation," per CNN. In a statement, the private Christian college in Hobbs, NM, said it was "attempting to notify family members of those involved" in the "fatal bus accident." In his own statement, university president Quint Thurman noted Tyler James, in his first season as head coach of both teams, had died. "We are still learning the details about the accident, but we are devastated and deeply saddened to learn about the loss of our students' lives and their coach," Thurman said, per KWES.

story continues below

Thurman didn't say how many students had died. KWES reports the teams were made up of 11 men and five women, though it's unclear if all were traveling as a group. "My understanding is that two of our students have survived and have been airlifted to University hospital in Lubbock with serious injuries," Thurman said. The AP reports the crash site is "in the same area—but not the same roadway" where a pickup truck and a school bus carrying members of the Andrews High School band collided in November. The band director and the drivers of both vehicles died. (More Texas stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.