Father On Meth, Not Underage Son, Struck College Golf Teams In Fatal Crash

By Jason Hall

July 15, 2022

Photo: National Transportation Safety Board

A father with methamphetamine in his system was driving the pickup that struck the University of the Southwest golf teams during a fatal crash earlier this year and not his underage son as initially concluded.

The National Transportation Safety Board shared a preliminary report on Thursday (July 14) which determined that Henrich Siemens, 38, was behind the wheel of the truck at the time of the crash in Texas near the New Mexico border on March 15.

NTSB had previously concluded that his son, 13, was driving at the time of the crash in March.

DNA testing confirmed Siemens was driving and toxicological testing showed that he had methamphetamine in his bloodstream at the time of the fatal crash, according to NTSB Director of Highway Safety Robert Molloy.

“This was a very difficult investigation to determine some of the facts based on the catastrophic nature of the damage and the post-crash fire," Malloy said at a news conference via the Associated Press.

Siemens and his son were among the nine people killed in the accident, which also claimed the lives of six members of the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams, as well as their coach, Tyler James, who was driving the cargo trailer that the team was traveling in at the time.

The University of Southwest confirmed the incident involved members of its men's and women's golf teams in a statement shared on its Facebook page shortly after the crash took place in March.

"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 post stated. "The university is currently attempting to notify family members of those involved in the accident. Counseling and religious services will be available to students, faculty, and staff on campus. The university will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available."

The University of the Southwest can confirm that there has been a fatal bus accident involving the USW men's and women's...

Posted by University of the Southwest on Tuesday, March 15, 2022

A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the golf teams were traveling in a 17-passenger van, while University of the Southwest President Quint Thurman claimed it was a 12-passenger van, initially noting that it had between seven and nine students onboard at the time of the crash and confirming that only two students survived.

“My understanding is that two of our students have survived and have been airlifted to University hospital in Lubbock with serious injuries,” Thurman said in a statement obtained by NBC News in March.

James' biography on the university's athletics states that he was in his first season as head coach of the men's and women's golf teams at the time of his death.

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