Texas boy, 13, who was driving dad’s truck when it veered onto wrong side of road and crashed into van full of USW students
Event occurred nine ‘months after Mennonite teen burned down family’s home’
The Juvenile driving the pickup, Ricky Siemens, 13, and his father, Heinrich Siemens, 38, were among nine people who died in Tuesday’s crash in Andrews, Texas
Six students from the University of the Southwest and their 26 year-old coach were all killed in the smash
The athletes were headed back to New Mexico from a tournament in Texas; Both cars caught on fire
Those killed in the crash were Laci Stone, 18; Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; and Tiago Sousa, 18
NTSB said Thursday that 13-year-old Ricky Raines was driving the pickup truck that hit the van near Andrews, Texas
Ricky was in the car with his father Heinrich Siemens, 38 – both died, along with seven of the passengers in a bus they crashed into
Before Christmas 2021, the same boy burned the family house to the ground after he left the stove unattended while cooking some eggs, according to a family friend
Two student golfers, Hayden Underhill and Dayton Price, survived and were airlifted to a hospital
This is the 13 year-old Mennonite boy who was driving the truck that veered into a bus full of USW golfers, killing himself, his father, six of the students and their coach.
Ricky Siemens, 13, and his father, Heinrich Siemens, 38, were among nine people who died in Tuesday’s crash in Andrews, Texas.
The father and son were remembered in photos posted by grieving relatives on Facebook Thursday night, including snaps shared by Agatha Siemens, who is Ricky’s mom and Heinrich’s wife.
Those tributes came as a friend of the family revealed that Ricky had accidentally burned down his family’s home in December last year, completely destroying the property.
‘Just before Christmas, their house burned down,’ Aganetha Siemsens, who is not related to the victims, said. ‘The 13-year-old made some eggs and forgot about it.’
Heinrich was a father of five, with his family part of the Mennonite church.
The youngster was driving the family’s Dodge truck when the front left tire, a spare, blew out as it hurdled down the flat Texas road at a high rate of speed, causing it to cross center line into on-coming traffic and slamming into a bus carrying eight University of the Southwest golf students, with six of those golfers and their coach all killed.
These deaths on top of losing their home, has compounded the agony for the Siemens family.
Aganetha said: ‘I couldn’t imagine going through all that and then to have this happen,’ she said.
‘It’s just so sad.’ She added that no-one had been hurt in the blaze.
The boy’s mother, Aggie Siemens, posted a tribute to the boy on Facebook with a photo of the sandy-haired boy sporting a crewcut in his NASA T-shirt and tracksuit pants, grinning broadly at the camera.
‘I miss you so much,’ she wrote over the photo, with the music from a Casting Crowns song plays in the background.
‘What I’d give for one more day with you,’ the song goes.
She also posted photos of her husband Heinrich, who is pictured hugging her from behind as they both smile into the camera.
‘Love of my life,’ ‘I love you so much’ and ‘My Best Friend’ appear across the photo.
Funeral services are being planned at the Mennonite Evangelical Church in Seminole, Texas, where the family lives.
Two male students were pulled from the wreckage of Tuesday’s crash alive and airlifted to hospital.
The NTSB revealed the age of the driver on Thursday, but have yet to identify him. They said that the car the boy was driving suffered a front-left tire blowout, and that that tire was a spare.
They have not offered further information on why he was driving, how he was related to Siemens.
The legal driving age in Texas, where the fatal accident took place, is 16 years old.
Heinrich Siemens, 38, was killed along with his 13-year-old son. Also killed were seven members of the University of the Southwest golf team and their coach after Siemens let his son Ricky drive his Dodge truck on Tuesday night.
NTSB officials said Thursday that the truck’s left front tire, which was a spare, also blew out before impact. The fiery crash was ‘clearly a high-speed collision,’ NTSB Chairman Bruce Landsberg said.
Family members, friends and others who knew the six athletes killed on Tuesday remembered them as ‘great kids and community members’ as tributes continue to pour in for the college golfers.
The students were returning to New Mexico from a tournament in Texas when a Dodge 2500 pickup truck crashed into their Ford passenger van, killing the students and their coach along with the driver of the pickup truck and a 13-year-old boy. Both vehicles caught on fire.
‘We are praying so much for the families of all those other kids,’ said Gary Raines, whose daughter Karisa, 21, died in the accident. ‘Right now we just keep thinking we’re gonna wake up from this terrible nightmare. But it’s not happening.’
‘Karisa was my baby,’ added Sandy, Karisa’s mom, in an interview with the Today show on Thursday. ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.’
Texas Department of Public Safety said this 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup for an unknown reason went the wrong way and smashed into the van head-on. The driver and passenger of the truck, a 13-year-old boy, died
A fundraiser for funeral expenses for one victim, Karisa Raines, has raised $12,250 so far.
Local golfers have also set up a memorial at the course where the team practiced. Groundskeepers placed flowers, golf balls and a handmade sign with a Christian cross and the initials USW.
‘We have a memorial. It’s the very least we could to for the players and of course coach James,’ said Rockwind Community Links Manager Ben Kirkes. ‘It’s a tough time.’
Kirkes said he saw the team members nearly every day, and was close with them.
‘These kids were great kids and they were great, great community members,’ Kirkes said. ‘They were polite and they were just a pleasure to be around.’
The parents of USW golfer Karisa Raines remembered their daughter on Thursday. ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do without her,’ said her mother Sandy.
‘We are praying so much for the families of all those other kids,’ said father Gary Raines while on the Today show.
A fundraiser for funeral expenses for Karisa has raised $12,250 so far as contributions pour in from across the country
Six USW golfers and their coach died in Texas on Tuesday night when a pickup truck rammed into their van, sending botch vehicles up in flams. Top row (L-R): golfers Laci Stone, 18, Jackson Zinn, 22, and Karisa Raines, 21. Middle row: Travis Garcia, 19, Mauricio Sanchez, 19, and Tiago Sousa, 18. Bottom: USW Golfing coach Coach Tyler James, 26
Eight of the nine people killed in the crash have been named by officials investigating the tragedy, which happened at around 8:17 p.m. on a two-lane road about nine miles from Andrews, Texas, officials say. The victims include six members of the University of the South West men’s and women’s golf teams, as well as their 26 year-old coach.
Students Laci Stone, 18; Karisa Raines, 21; Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico, Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas, Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado, and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal all died along with USW golf coach Tyler James, 26, was also killed.
The truck that crashed into the students was carrying Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole, and and his 13-year-old who was with him. Neither survived.
The two injured students were identified by authorities as Dayton Price of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and Hayden Underhill of Amherstview, Ontario, Canada.
‘For unknown reasons, the Dodge pickup drove into the northbound lane and struck the Ford passenger van head on. Both vehicles caught fire and burned,’ the Texas Department of Public Safety said Wednesday.
Those who knew Coach Tyler James said it had been his goal to be a head coach, and he was excited to be there. ‘That was his dream job, to be a head coach and he was living out his dream,’ said Ryan Erwin, vice president for student engagement and athletics at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall
Those who knew Coach Tyler James said it had been his goal to be a head coach, and he was excited to be there.
‘That was his dream job, to be a head coach and he was living out his dream,’ said Ryan Erwin, vice president for student engagement and athletics at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall.
James graduated from ETBU in May with a master´s of science in kinesiology. While there, he had been the graduate assistant coach for the golf program.
Erwin said James had not only a love for coaching, but for mentoring students as well.
After beginning his college career playing golf at Ottawa University in Kansas, he transferred to Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, according to his biography on the University of the Southwest website.
Troy Drummond, Howard Payne University´s head golf coach and associate athletic director for operations, said James played for three years at Howard Payne and helped coach the team his last year. ‘He had a passion for golf, you could tell that from the very start. He’d pretty much eat, sleep and drink golf,’ Drummond said.
The crash left two other students, Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, Canada critically injured. Price suffered third-degree burns to nearly half of his body, according to the description of a GoFundMe campaign that has since raised $96,294.
The University of Southwest said in an update early Wednesday morning that the bus was carrying eight members of the men’s and women’s golf teams, and coach Tyler James, who was behind the wheel, when it was struck by a truck head-on in Andrews County on Tuesday night.
Photos taken at the scene during the daytime showed the catastrophic impact of the collision, which has left the charred, mangled remnants of the bus and the pickup truck lying shattered on the side of a rural road.
Sgt. Steven Blanco, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the pickup truck crossed the center line of a two-lane road and smashed into the bus.
Six students and James were killed along with the driver and a passenger in the pickup truck, Blanco said. Two students were taken by helicopter to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition.
Team member Jasmin Collum had been scheduled to play but at the last minute decided instead to visit her parents in Houston, her mother said.
‘Otherwise, who knows?’ Tonya Collum said. ‘I told her God has a plan for her and that’s why she’s OK. We knew all those people on board. Basically the whole team is gone or in the hospital.’
Blanco said the crash occurred at around 8:17 p.m. about nine miles from the city of Andrews, found northwest of Midland-Odessa.
‘Both suffered extremely heavy damage,’ Blanco told NBC affiliate KWES of Midland.
‘It’s a very tragic scene,’ Blanco added. ‘It’s very, very tragic.’
He said that the university-owned van was travelling from a golf tournament in West Texas, and described it as a passenger van.
The teams had been scheduled to play in a tournament on Tuesday at Midland College, about 315 miles west of Dallas.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it would send a 12-member ‘go team’ to the crash site, including experts in human performance, vehicle and motor carrier factors and accident reconstruction. They were expected to arrive on Wednesday.
‘We’ll try to find out not only what happened, but why it happened, so we can possibly prevent things like this from happening in the future,’ he said.
The golf team was traveling in a 2017 Ford Transit van that was towing a box trailer when it collided with the pickup truck, Weiss said. Both vehicles caught fire after the collision, he said, calling it a ‘high-energy event.’
‘University President Quint Thurman said earlier: ‘We are still learning the details about the accident but we are devastated and deeply saddened to learn about the loss of our students’ lives and their coach.’ ‘My understanding is that two of our students have survived and have been airlifted to University hospital in Lubbock with serious injuries,’ Thurman added.
‘We would ask for prayers for their recovery and for comfort and strength for all of families and friends and students of those whose lives have been lost.’
Thurman named the coach as Tyler James, who was entering his first season as a coach of the men’s and women’s golf teams, according to an online biography.
The university confirmed the crash in a post of Facebook shortly after midnight on Wednesday, calling the crash ‘fatal’.
The University of the Southwest can confirm that there has been a fatal bus accident involving the USW men’s and women’s golf teams,’ the statement said.