ORANGE COUNTY, Texas — A 16-year-old driver has been cited following a crash that injured him and four other Little Cypress-Mauriceville Independent Consolidated School District students Wednesday morning.
The crash happened Wednesday morning on FM 1130 near Zavala Road in Orange County.
The 2018 Ram pickup was traveling northeast and failed to drive in a single lane to the right. The pickup traveled in the ditch for approximately 100 feet prior to striking a tree with its front center, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The teen driver was issued a citation for failing to drive in a single lane and for operating a vehicle with more than one passenger that is less than 21-years of age, according to the release.
The students were on their way to a football camp at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School when the crash took place.
The ages of the five students injured ranged from 12 to 16. All of them were taken to area hospitals, and Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD officials were happy to announce that as of Thursday, they are all in stable condition.
While the kids are in stable condition, officials believe the road to recovery will be a long one.
“Two have been sent home," Coach Eric Peevey said. "We have one who is still at the hospital recovering from two surgeries. We have had multiple broken bones. One is with broken hips, major arm lacerations.”
Three of the students are brothers, according to Peevey. The other two are their friends. Peevey said it is never easy to see students suffering like this.
“It's very tough, especially when you have a group of young men trying to do the right thing,” Peevey said. “They were trying to bring their younger brothers to football camp early in the morning for their parents. They were coming to do workouts themselves. It's not like they were doing wrong things at the wrong time of night.”
Their ages sparked questions about the rules of the road when it comes to teenage drivers.
“You can't drive with more than one passenger in the car under 21 who is not a family member,” Mark Sparks, attorney with the Ferguson Law Firm, said. “So, that is something that is different for some who are older who didn't have that rule at 16.”
The school district posted on Facebook Thursday, thanking the community for the outpour of love and support.