Ricky Siemens Seminole Texas 13 year old boy id as driver of dad’s pickup truck that crashed into USW golf team leading to 9 people killed. Boy was part of religious family.
Texas authorities have identified the individual driving a pickup truck that struck a van carrying a golf team as a 13 year old boy earlier this week. The head on collision lead to the killing of 9 individuals, including the 13 year old boy and his father as they rode in the man’s vehicle.
Ricky Siemens, 13, the boy’s father, Heinrich Siemens, 38, were identified as the victims of the Ford F-150 pickup truck with authorities identifying six college athletes and their coach part of the University of the Southwest golf team as the other fatalities.
The deceased students were identified as: Mauricio Sanchez, Travis Garcia, Jackson Zinn, Karisa Raines and Tiago Sousa.
The team’s head coach was identified as Tyler James with team member Laci Stone as the 9th fatality. Miraculously two individuals, Dayton Price and Hayden Underhill, part of the golf team survived and were listed in critical condition in hospital.
Not immediately understood is how the 13 year old boy came to be driving his father’s pickup truck at the time of the collision.
‘clearly a high-speed collision…’
In Texas, a person must 14 to start taking classroom courses for a learner’s license and 15 to receive a provisional license to drive with an instructor or licensed adult in the vehicle.
Department of Public Safety Sgt. Victor Taylor said a 13-year-old driving would be breaking the law.
The truck’s left front tire, which was a spare tire, blew out before impact, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said.
Although it was unclear how fast the two vehicles were traveling, ‘this was clearly a high-speed collision,’ Landsberg said.
The horror smash happened on Highway 115 in Midland, Texas, just after 8pm local time on Tuesday.
The University of the Southwest, a Christian college based in New Mexico, confirmed victims included members of the university’s men’s and women’s golf teams.
The teams were on their way back from a golf tournament in West Texas.
These are the @USW_HobbsNM golf team members killed last night in a Texas bus crash, along with their Coach Tyler James. The youngest were just 18, the oldest, 22. James was 26. @TxDPS and the @NTSB are investigating why a pickup truck hit their van head on. @Newsy pic.twitter.com/jXo0sfQdPI
— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) March 16, 2022
‘What I’d give for one more day with you,’
Sgt. Steve Blanco, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told NBC: ‘It’s a very tragic scene.’
He said that both vehicles had suffered ‘heavy damage.’
Heinrich was a father of five and was part of the Mennonite church along with his family.
The boy’s mother, Agatha Siemens, posted a tribute to her son on Facebook with a photo of the boy.
‘I miss you so much,’ she wrote over the photo, with a song from Casting Crowns playing in the background.
‘What I’d give for one more day with you,’ the song goes.
Prayers amid a nightmare
Funeral services are being planned at the Mennonite Evangelical Church in Seminole, Texas, where the family resides from.
Family members and friends who knew the six athletes killed in the crash remembered them as ‘great kids and community members’ as the tributes continue to flood in.
‘We are praying so much for the families of all those other kids,’ said Gray Raines, whose daughter Karisa was killed.
‘Right now we just keep thinking we’re gonna wake up from this terrible nightmare. But it’s not happening.’
Sandy, Karisa’s mom, said in an interview with the Today show on Thursday: ‘Karisa was my baby. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.’