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Child, 13, driving pickup truck in crash that killed nine in Texas

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A thirteen-year-old child driving a pickup truck was among nine people who died in a crash with a van in Texas.

Six members of a university golf team and a coach were also among those who lost their lives in the head-on collision.

Two others were injured in the crash on Tuesday.

The pickup truck driven by the child is thought to have veered across a two-lane highway and crashed into the van not far from the city of Odessa.

People console each other during a memorial for Jackson Zinn at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Hobbs, New Mexico. Zinn, who worked at the restaurant, was killed with several other student golfers and the coach of University of the Southwest in a crash in Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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A memorial is held for victim Jackson Zinn at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant. Pic: AP

University of Southwest, in New Mexico, said the van was carrying students back to campus from a tournament in Midland, Texas.

Tyler James, the coach who died in the accident, was in his first season as head coach of USW’s golf program, his school bio said.

“The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family,” USW said in a statement.

Golf balls adorn a makeshift memorial at the Rockwind Community Links Wednesday, 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. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Golf balls adorn a makeshift memorial at the Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs, New Mexico. Pic: AP

The Texas Department of Public Safety has named those who died as: Golf coach Tyler James, 26, and players Mauricio Sanchez, 19, Travis Garcia, 19, Jackson Zinn, 22, Karisa Raines, 21, Laci Stone, 18, and Tiago Sousa, 18.

Also killed were Henrich Siemans, 38, and an unidentified 13-year-old boy who had been traveling with him in the 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup, the Associated Press reported.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Facebook that she was “deeply saddened” by the incident.

“This is a terrible accident. As we await additional information from authorities, my prayers are with the community and the loved ones of all those involved,” she said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also expressed sympathy: “We grieve with the loved ones of the individuals whose lives were horrifically taken too soon in this fatal vehicle crash near Andrews last night.”

Jasmin Collum had been scheduled to play but at the last minute decided instead to visit her parents in Houston, her mother said.

“We knew all those people on board,” Tonya Collum said. “Basically the whole team is gone or in the hospital.”

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