13-year-old drove truck that collided with van killing nine in Texas

The damage bus sits on the side of the road at the scene of a fatal car wreck early on Wednesday in the US.
The damage bus sits on the side of the road at the scene of a fatal car wreck early on Wednesday in the US. Credit:AP

Hobbs, New Mexico: A 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck that struck a van in West Texas in a fiery collision that killed nine people, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said on Friday AEDT.

The truck’s left front tyre, which was a spare tyre, also blew out before impact, he said.

Although it was unclear how fast the two vehicles were travelling, “this was clearly a high-speed collision,” Landsberg said.

The damage bus sits on the side of the road at the scene of a fatal car wreck early on Wednesday in the US.

A person must be 14 in Texas to start taking classroom courses for a learner’s licence and 15 to receive that provisional licence to drive with an instructor or licensed adult in the vehicle. Department of Public Safety Sergeant Victor Taylor said a 13-year-old driving would be breaking the law.

The pickup truck crossed into the opposite lane on a darkened, two-lane highway before colliding head-on with a van, killing the boy, a man travelling with him, six New Mexico college students and a golf coach.

The University of the Southwest students, including one from Portugal and one from Mexico, and the coach were returning from a golf tournament when the crash occurred Tuesday night. Two Canadian students were hospitalised in critical condition.

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