NTSB: Father with meth in system — not 13-year-old — drove truck that struck college golf van, killing 9

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The National Transportation Safety Board concluded in March that a 13-year-old boy drove the pickup truck that struck a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest golf teams, killing nine.

On Thursday, it declared in a preliminary report that further investigation determined that it was actually the boy's 38-year-old father Henrich Siemens who drove the truck and that he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the collision. Per NTSB Director of Highway Safety Robert Molloy, DNA testing showed that Siemens was the driver while toxicological testing confirmed the presence of methamphetamine in his bloodstream.

“This was a very difficult investigation to determine some of the facts based on the catastrophic nature of the damage and the post-crash fire," Malloy said at a news conference, per the Associated Press.

The collision took place on March 15 around 8:17 p.m. in Andrews County in the Texas panhandle near the New Mexico border. Per the NTSB, the pickup truck crossed the center dividing line of the two-lane road and collided head-on with the van. NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg described it in March as "clearly a high-speed collision" that caused both vehicles to burst into flames upon impact.

FILE - A golfer drives by a makeshift memorial at the Rockwind Community Links, on March 16, 2022, in Hobbs, New Mexico. The memorial was for student golfers and the coach of University of the Southwest killed in a crash in Texas. The father of a 13-year-old boy, not the teen, was driving a pickup that struck the team's van federal officials said on Thursday, July 14. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
A golfer drives by a makeshift memorial at at the Rockwind Community Links for student golfers and the coach of University of the Southwest killed in a crash in Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The crash killed six members of the USW men's and women's golf teams and 26-year-old coach Tyler James of Hobbs, New Mexico. Siemens and his 13-year-old son also died in the crash. Two students in the van survived but were seriously injured, per the NTSB. The van was traveling to the USW campus in Hobbs, New Mexico following a golf tournament in Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the students killed in the crash as Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico, Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas, Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas, Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado, Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal.

Investigators have not determined the speed of the vehicles or probable cause for the crash in the investigation that remains ongoing. The speed limit on Farm to Market Road 1788 where the crash occurred is 75 mph. Malloy doesn't expect the full investigation to conclude until sometime next year.