The collision was caused by a 13-year old driver, according to a National Transportation Safety Board official.
A man and a child who were traveling in the truck also lost their lives.
Bruce Landsberg, NTSB Vice Chairman, stated that the truck's left front tire (which was a spare tire) also burst before impact.
Landsberg stated that although it wasn't clear how fast the vehicles were travelling, "this was clearly an accident at high speed." Landsberg said investigators were hoping to obtain enough information from vehicle recorders to help them better understand the incident.
To take classroom courses in Texas for a learner’s license, one must be at least 14 years old. Once you have that license, you can drive the vehicle with an instructor or licensed adult. Department of Public Safety Sergeant. Victor Taylor stated that a driver under 13 years old would be in violation of the law.
On a darkened two-lane highway, the pickup truck crossed into the other lane and collided head-on with the van. The boy was traveling with him.
People from rural areas of the U.S. learn to drive at a young age. The news that a 13 year old was at the wheel of the Texas accident put the focus back on the practice.
Two University of the Southwest students, one from Portugal, and one from Mexico were returning from a tournament of golf when the vehicles collided on Tuesday night. Two Canadian students were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
NTSB sent an investigator team to the crash site, located in Texas' Andrews County. It is approximately 30 miles (50 km) east of New Mexico state. Despite being rural, the roads in this area can be jammed with traffic due to oil and gas development and agriculture.
Maria Duarte, spokesperson for University of the Southwest, declined to comment about the NTSB's announcement regarding the young driver. She cited ongoing investigations.
According to Eric Weiss, the NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss said that the golf teams were travelling in a 2017 Ford Transit van, which was towing a trailer . Both vehicles then collided and burst into flames.
He claimed that the vehicles collided on a two-lane asphalt highway with a speed limit of 75 mph (120 km/h). However, investigators are still trying to determine how fast the vehicles were traveling.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Tyler James, a golf coach, died in Hobbs, New Mexico. Also, Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton Texas, and Jackson Zinn 22, of Westminster Colorado, were among the victims. Karisa Raines (21), of Fort Stockton Texas. Laci Stone (18) of Nocona Texas. Tiago Sousa (18), was from Portugal.
Henrich Siemens (38), of Seminole County in Texas and an unidentified 13 year-old boy were also killed while riding in the 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup.
Canadian students Hayden Underhill (20) and Dayton Price (19), both from Mississauga (Ontario), were critically injured in the van crash. They were both flown by helicopter to Lubbock's University Medical Center, which is about 110 miles (180 km) northeast.
According to University of the Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton, the students are "both stable and recovering" and making progress every day, Tipton stated Thursday about the two injured students.
Tipton said, "One of the students is having chicken soup," and called their recovery "a game for inches."
Tipton stated that Quint Thurman, University President, visited the parents of the students at the hospital. This demonstrates the closeness between the college and its 350 students.
Drew Underhill, Drew's brother, said that their parents, Ken, and Wendy flew to Texas.
Drew Underhill stated that while hockey was an important part of Drew's life, his true passion was golf.
About 150 people gathered at Texas Roadhouse on Thursday night to remember Zinn, the Hobbs restaurant where Zinn met and worked for five months.
Maddy Russell (20 years old) of Hobbs said, "We met exactly here at this table." "He was my heart."
The mourners released approximately 100 blue and orange balloons into eastern New Mexico's cold whipping wind, and they quickly disappeared into the horizon.
The Mexican Federation of Golf sent a condolence note online to Sanchez's loved ones.
Sousa hails from Portugal's south coast. He graduated high school last summer and then went on to college in the U.S.
She said, "Any school would love to have him as a pupil."
Jasmin Collum, a team member, had been scheduled to participate but decided to instead visit her parents in Houston. Her mother confirmed this.
Tonya Collum stated, "We knew all of those people onboard." "The majority of the team is either gone or in the hospital."
The University of the Southwest, a private Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico near the Texas state line, is the University of the Southwest.
Wednesday saw the establishment of a memorial at the course where the team practices. Flowers, golf balls, and a handmade sign bearing the initials USW and a cross were all present at the memorial.
Ben Kirkes, Rockwind Community Links Manager, said that it was the least we could do for the players and Coach James.
Twitter stated that counseling and religious services will be offered on campus by the university.
They were taking part in a Midland College golf tournament, which is located 315 miles (505 km) west of Dallas. The crash forced Midland College to cancel Wednesday's play.