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Nine people, including the coach and six members of the University of the Southwest golf team, were killed in a head-on crash near Midland, TX. The crash occurred on Tuesday, March 15, at around 8:17 p.m.

The Head-On Crash

On Tuesday, March 15, the University of the Southwest golf team was heading back to their campus in New Mexico after competing in a Midland golf tournament. The coach was driving the team in a 17-passenger van heading northbound on FM 1788. 

At the same time, a Dodge 2500 pickup truck driven by a thirteen-year-old was traveling southbound when it suddenly veered into the northbound lanes. The pickup truck collided head-on with the 17-passenger van. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, both vehicles caught fire after the crash occurred.

The fiery crash claimed the lives of the golf coach driving the 17-passenger van, along with 6 other members of the golf team. Members of the golf team ranged in age from 18 to 22 years old. The 13-year-old driver of the Dodge pickup along with the 38-year-old passenger also died in the fiery crash. Two members of the golf team survived the crash and were airlifted to a nearby hospital in critical condition. 

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board stated in a press conference that they are sending investigators to the scene of the crash to investigate the cause. 

A preliminary investigation showed that the pickup truck’s left front tire, which was a spare, blew out just moments before the crash occurred. During the same press conference, the NTSB stated that the head-on crash was a “high energy” collision as the speed limit on that road was 75 mph. 

The Common Causes of Head-On Collisions

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), 538 people were killed in head-on collisions in 2020. In 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that head-on collisions have a 58% fatality rate due to the impact that these crashes cause. 

Although head-on collisions don’t happen as often as other types of crashes, the lasting impact they have can be devastating. Because head-on collisions are so dangerous, it’s important for drivers to understand the main causes of these accidents:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Low visibility due to weather or time of day
  • Driver inexperience
  • Failure to follow traffic signs or signals
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Although the causes of head-on collisions can vary, most can be avoided if drivers take more care behind the wheel. Often, drivers become overconfident and fail to pay enough attention to the road in front of them, leading to these sorts of crashes.

In order to put a stop to head-on collisions, drivers should put all distractions away and be fully alert to what’s happening on the road. Taking this simple precaution can go a long way towards reducing roadway accidents.

Reach out to your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns today to get started on your car accident claim.

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Source: ABCNews, TODAY, NewsWest9, People

About Christopher Johns

Christopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.

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