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5 Texas teens die in fiery crash with fuel tanker

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:53 a.m. HST, Mar 12, 2013

AMARILLO, Texas » The deaths of five teenagers in a fiery wreck after their vehicle ran a stop sign and collided with a tanker loaded with fuel affected families throughout the Texas Panhandle, a local official said today.

"It's had a big effect on the whole area, and I think it always seems more tragic when you have a loss of life when people are so young," said Dr. David Bonner, the mayor pro tem of Dumas.

Two of the teens were sisters from Dumas, a town of about 15,000. The others were from a nearby small town.

Authorities say the teens died at the scene. The truck driver, Ezequiel Garcia, was in critical condition today with burns over 90 percent of his body.

The collision occurred Sunday near Dumas, about 45 miles north of Amarillo. Preliminary reports indicate that alcohol was not a factor, authorities said.

Authorities say Jacob Paul Stipe, 16, of Sunray, was driving when the Chevy pickup went through a stop sign and was hit on the passenger side by the tanker. Stipe was killed, along with Derrek Lee Hager and Christopher Lee Moore, both 17 and from Sunray, and October Dawn Roys, 17, and her younger sister, Elizabeth Kay Roys, 15.

Area schools are on spring break this week, so news of the tragedy hadn't yet reached many people, Bonner said.

"A lot of people are gone," he added.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Juan Medrano said he did not know where the teens were going when the accident occurred. The investigation continues.

The Texas accident was the second nationwide that happened Sunday involving multiple deaths. Early Sunday, five teens and a young woman were killed in an accident in Ohio.

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loquaciousone wrote:
Six yesterday and five more today. That's why they should raise the minimum age for driving a very dangerous vehicle.
on March 12,2013 | 07:01AM
hanalei395 wrote:
Teens must ASSUME that they, the driver, WILL BE NEXT... if they're not careful.
on March 12,2013 | 07:55AM
olos73 wrote:
I don't know what Texas' driver license age is. If it is 18, like Hawaii, then, this 16-year-old driver only has a permit. If Texas' license age is under 18, then, they should move it up. If he was driving with only a permit, he was driving illegally because there was no adult in the vehicle. Not worth it people.
on March 12,2013 | 08:28AM
kimo54 wrote:
I live in Austin, TX and I must admit Texas has some of the most lenient driving laws and I have lived in 6 different U.S. states. l6 yrs of age is the minimum lawful age to drive a vehicle in Texas. However, as simple as it may sound, there are several phases that a young person under 18 must undergo before being issued a temporary drivers license. These phases are full of requirements and restrictions for the young 16 yr old and must be adhered to until the 18th birthday is reached. Unfortunately for these poor young kids who happen to be passengers in this fatal ehicle, this was the last ride of their lives.
on March 12,2013 | 02:21PM
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