National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators reviewed DNA testing results provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety and found the driver of the pickup truck involved in the fatal March 15 head-on collision between a pickup truck and a transit van carrying student athletes near Andrews, Texas, was not the 13 year-old male in the truck but his 38-year-old father, according to the preliminary report issued.
During an on-scene media briefing on March 17, the NTSB stated the driver of the pickup truck that crashed into the transit van was the 13-year-old male, based on information available at the time. In addition to the DNA test results identifying the father as the pickup truck driver, NTSB post-crash toxicological testing revealed the presence of methamphetamine in the pickup truck driver’s blood.
The fatal collision happened when a 2007 Dodge pickup truck, occupied by a driver and one passenger, crossed the centerline on Farm-to-Market Road 1788 and crashed head-on into a 2017 Ford transit van occupied by a driver and eight passengers. The van carried golf team members from the University of the Southwest, located in Hobbs, New Mexico. The van driver was their coach. As a result of the crash, both pickup truck occupants died. The driver and six student passengers in the transit van were also fatally injured, and two student passengers were seriously injured.
The information in the report is preliminary and subject to change as the NTSB’s investigation progresses. To date, the investigation has not found evidence of a sudden or rapid loss of tire air pressure or any other indicators of catastrophic failure of the pickup truck’s front left tire. The crash remains under investigation, and analysis of the crash facts, along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause, will come at a later date, when the final report on the investigation is completed.
Parties to the investigation include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas Department of Public Safety.
The preliminary report is available here.