WASHINGTON, and ANDREWS, Texas — The National Transportation Safety Board released new information Thursday in the investigation of a crash that killed nine people the night of March 15 in Andrews County.
The NTSB scheduled a statement for Thursday afternoon. Use the video player to watch a replay.
A transit van carried the coach and members of the University of the Southwest golf team. A pickup truck crossed the centerline and hit the van head on, according to statements by the NTSB.
Initially the NTSB said a 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck. However, the NTSB on Thursday said the teen was not the driver.
The NTSB also said, “NTSB postcrash toxicological testing revealed the presence of methamphetamine in the pickup truck driver’s blood.”
NTSB Director of Highway Safety, Robert Malloy, PhD, said the report about the presence of methamphetamine was received Wednesday, so investigators had not been able to determine if it was a contributing factor in the crash.
“We know that it was found in his system,” Malloy said. “Certainly, we know that meth can affect driver performance.”
Malloy said the “catastrophic damage” to the pickup truck and a post-crash fire made it harder to determine who was driving.
He additionally said he would not go into details about exactly how the initial determination that the 13-year-old was driving was made, out of concern for the family.
Malloy said damage to the area near the left tire and the tire being missing after the crash led to the original belief that tire failure was a contributing factor.
“At least we know the truth,” the family of Laci Stone said of the crash that killed her, her coach and five teammates. The only two survivors of the crash were airlifted to Lubbock in critical condition for medical treatment.