Amherstview, Ont. golfer recovering after deadly crash in Texas

The family of an Amherstview, Ont. student critically injured in a fiery crash in Texas says he is continuing to make progress, as members of the Kingston area golf community root for his recovery from him.

Hayden Underhill, 20, was one of two Ontario students hurt in the crash that left nine people dead. On Tuesday evening, a van carrying nine members of the University of the Southwest golf teams was returning from a golf tournament when it collided with a second vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said late Thursday that a 13-year-old was driving the pick-up truck that struck the van carrying members of the University of the Southwest golf teams. NTSB Vice-Chairman Bruce Landsberg said the truck’s left front tire, which was a spare tire, also blew out before the crash.

Seven members of the university’s men’s and women’s golf teams were killed in the crash. The occupants of the pickup truck were also killed.

Underhill and Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, are the lone survivors of the crash.

“He is continuing to make progress and we are grateful to the many people who have expressed their best wishes towards him and our family and have aided us in so many ways,” said a statement from Underhill’s parents.

“We would also like to pass on our condolences to the family of Coach (Tyler) James and to all the members of the Mustangs family that were lost in this tragic event.”

Underhill’s parents, Ken and Wendy, flew to Texas to be with their son.

Underhill and Price have been transferred to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Tex.

University President Quint C. Thurman told reporters on Thursday there’s no indication how long the recovery will take.

Underhill is a freshman on the University of the Southwest Mustangs golf team. I have graduated from Ernestown Secondary School in Odessa, Ont. last year

“He’s always that happy, go lucky kid, always has a smile on his face,” Iain Restin of the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club said.

“Always willing to help out with the other juniors.”

Underhill golfed out of the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club.

Restin says golfing at a US school was always a dream for Underhill.

“He’s the kind of kid who puts in all the work,” Restin said. “He’s on the putting green, on the driving range all the time if he’s not on the golf course.”

With files from The Associated Press and CTV News Toronto’s Phil Tsekouras

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