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As news unfolded over the past week about the West Texas car crash involving a New Mexico university golf team, The Carlson Law Firm is saddened to know that the coach for the team, Tyler James, was a member of our Killeen community. We are praying for all involved in this terrible, preventable tragedy.” -Craig Carlson, Managing Partner

What we know about the West Texas Car Crash that Killed a New Mexico College Golf Team

On Tuesday, March 15, nine people lost their lives and two others are critically injured following a head-on collision near Andrews, TX, including six student-athletes from the University of the Southwest golf team. According to TXDPS troopers, a  pickup truck crossed the centerline of a two-lane road traveling southbound. Once the truck crossed the median, it crashed into the University of the Southwest’s van, with both vehicles catching fire shortly after the crash. 

The two surviving players were transported by air to a hospital in Lubbock, with both last listed in critical condition. Both people in the pickup were killed. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident. 

The students killed in the crash were an international group and ranged in ages from 18 to 22 years old. The pickup truck that struck the van was driven by a 13-year-old boy with a 28-year-old man in the passenger’s seat.

Fuel System Defects Often Cause Rapidly Spreading Fires in Vehicles

Vehicles aren’t supposed to catch fire spontaneously, and if they do, it can be a sign that there is some form of defect. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there were roughly 189,500 highway vehicle fires in 2019. There are many reasons why vehicles catch fire, with many times relating back to mechanical or electrical issues. A defective fuel system, which can leak gas and fuel has the potential to ignite and cause these tragic events. 

Fuel systems can have potential defects, and they may not be apparent right away, such as a faulty fuel tank might be improperly placed or easily damaged. Whether it is a defect due to the manufacturer, installation error, or design, fuel system defects have the potential to endanger human lives on the road. 

Some of the common fuel system defects include:

  • Incorrect placement of fuel tanks and lines;
  • Missing cut-off device to prevent the flow of gas;
  • Poor welding/installation that has the potential of rupture;
  • Faulty fuel pump or injector;
  • Inadequate material for fuel lines, that may easily break; and
  • Inadequate materials for neglecting fuel tanks. 

The Carlson Law Firm can Help

Typically, manufacturers will send out a recall if they have found that their product is a potential risk to human lives. If your vehicle’s fuel system malfunctioned, resulting in a car fire or accident injury, one of our auto defect attorneys can help you.  Damage for an injury related to a car accident or fire include:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Lost future income;
  • Emotional anguish;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Diminished quality of life. 

Loved ones who have lost a family member due to a car fire or collision rooted in a defective part may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. We can and will hold those responsible for your accident accountable. We care and we can help. 

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