13-Year-Old Boy Kills 9 In West Texas Crash
Young drivers are known to get into a lot of car accidents, but when a 13-year-old causes a crash, it can be a shocking situation. That’s because the legal driving age in Texas is 16 years old, while a 15-year-old can drive if they have a permit and an adult in the vehicle.
Sadly, a 13-year-old boy killed himself and eight others after crashing into a Ford Transit van carrying a college tennis team. The fatal accident occurred on the evening of March 15 in West Texas.
The teen was driving a pickup truck approximately 30 miles east of the New Mexico border when the front left tire—a spare—failed. This caused the truck to cross into the opposite lane, swerving in front of the van hauling a box trailer. Both vehicles collided head on, resulting in a fiery crash.
The teen and his passenger, a 38-year-old man, were killed in the crash.
The occupants of the transit van were members of the University of the Southwest’s golf team. Six college students were killed, ranging in age from 18 to 22 years old. Their coach, a 36-year-old man, also died in the accident. Two other college students, 18- and 19-year-old men from Canada, were hospitalized in critical condition.
The vehicles collided on a two-lane highway with a speed limit of 75 miles per hour. It is unknown how fast either vehicle was traveling, but investigators say it is clearly a high-speed collision. Several passengers in the van were not wearing seatbelts during the crash, with one ejected from the vehicle.
The Texas Department of Public Safety were able to determine that the teen was driving based on the remains in the driver seat following the fire. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the crash.
The University of the Southwest is a Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the Texas border. The next day, members of the community set up a memorial at a local golf course where the team practices.
It is unknown why the adult passenger allowed the teen to drive while underage. While it’s legal for people of all ages to drive on farms, ranches, and other private property, public roads are another matter. In rural areas there’s a general trend of younger people driving. And while the road in question was technically part of a rural area, allowing a 13-year-old to be on that road was not a good idea, as those roads are all oil traffic.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Laws are in place for a reason. A 13-year-old does not have the skills and experience to drive a truck, so this situation is tragic for all involved.
Accidents can have deadly consequences. If you or a loved one has been a victim, the Houston auto accident attorneys at The West Law Office, PLLC can help. Let us assess your case and get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 281-347-3247.