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A 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck that collided with a van in Texas, killing nine people, including six members of a New Mexico college’s men’s and women’s golf teams and a coach, the US National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.

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“A 13-year-old child was behind the wheel of the pickup truck,” NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told a news conference, saying it appeared “that the left front tire which was a spare tire had failed, which resulted in the vehicle pulling hard to the left and crossing into the opposing lane.”

“It was very clearly a high speed head-on collision between two heavy vehicles,” he added.

A 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup being driven by the 13-year-old struck the 2017 Transit towing an eight-foot cargo trailer and carrying the coach and eight team members of the University of Southwest College golf team, Landsberg said.

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Two students from Ontario are recovering in hospital following the deadly crash.

Nine people were killed in the crash and the two Canadians who suffered critical injuries are now considered “stable.”

University of the Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton says Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ont., and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ont., are “recovering and every day making more and more progress” following Tuesday’s crash.

They were aboard the van on their way home from a golf tournament on Tuesday evening when the vehicle and a pickup truck collided head-on.

Six members of the New Mexico college’s golf team died in the collision, as did a coach.

The pickup truck’s driver and passenger also died in the crash, which occurred in Andrews County, Texas.

— With files from Reuters


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