The family of the 13-year-old who was driving a pickup truck in a Texas crash that killed nine, including New Mexico college golfers, “lost everything” in a fire late last year, according to a local pastor.
The unidentified boy died in the Tuesday night collision along with his dad, Henrich Siemens, a 38-year-old passenger in the truck.
Mennonite Evangelical Church Seminole Pastor Jake Fehr told NBC News on Friday that Siemens was the father of the boy.
Fehr knew Siemens growing up, and the father and son’s funerals will be held at Mennonite Evangelical Church Seminole, even though they attended South Seminole Baptist Church. Fehr’s sanctuary has more space.
Fehr said the Siemens’ house burned down late last year. “The whole house burned down, they lost everything in that home,” he said, adding that the 13-year-old had siblings.
Details on the fire and what caused it were not available Friday.
Agatha Siemens, Henrich’s wife, had posted on Facebook in December asking for help getting photos off of her computer, which was damaged in the fire.
“My laptop was in the house during the fire but didn’t get burnt. Just water damaged. So I’m afraid to turn it on or charge it but would like to transfer all the pics I have on it to flash drives so I don’t lose them. Anyone know of someone?” she asked.
On Wednesday, she posted a collage of her family. “In Loving Memory,” it said. Her profile picture, which often said “I love my husband,” was changed to a picture of the couple. “Love of my life,” “my best friend,” “Love you so much,” said text on the picture.
The truck the 13-year-old was driving had a spare wheel in place of its left front tire, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said Thursday.
That spare tire seemed to have failed, causing the truck to swerve in front of a van carrying members of New Mexico’s University of the Southwest men and women’s golf teams Tuesday night.
Six students and their coach died in the crash. Two students were flown to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition and were stable as of Thursday.
Henrich Siemens and his son’s funerals are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, Fehr said. Pastor Richard “Buck” Wheat of South Seminole Baptist Church will officiate.