Wrong-way teen driver kills 6, including 2 children, in Texas, authorities say

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Six people were killed Tuesday in Texas after the teenage driver of a pickup truck went into oncoming traffic and struck a minivan carrying seven people head-on, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

Three people, including the 17-year-old driver of the pickup truck, were hospitalized with critical injuries after the crash in Johnson County, which is south of Fort Worth, the public safety department said in a Wednesday news release.

Two of the dead are children ages 10 and 9.

The crash happened on U.S. Route 67 at around 4 p.m., when the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado with a 17-year-old driver and passenger was traveling south and entered the northbound lane in a “no passing” zone, the department said.

The truck then struck the 2021 Honda Odyssey, which was traveling north, it said.

An aerial view of investigators at the site of the crash.
The site of the crash between the Chevrolet Silverado and Honda Odyssey.Texas Sky Ranger / via NBCDFW

The driver of the Odyssey and five passengers died. The sole surviving passenger, a 43-year-old man, suffered critical injuries, the department said.

The driver and passenger of the pickup truck also suffered critical injuries, according to the department.

The investigation remained ongoing Wednesday, the department said.

Aerial video broadcast by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth showed both vehicles heavily damaged, with the front ends of each destroyed.

The dead were identified as Rushil Barri, 28, of Irvine, Texas, who was the driver of the Odyssey; Naveena Potabathula, 36; Nageswararao Ponnada, 64; Sitamahalakshmi Ponnada, 60; and the children, Krithik Potabathula, 10, and Nishidha Potabathula, 9.

They are members of the same family, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

All except Barri were from Alpharetta, Georgia.

Ayyappala Bandaru, Barri’s roommate, said that Barri was driving with his cousin, his cousin’s wife, two young children and in-laws when the crash occurred, according to the station.

The family was returning from visiting Fossil Rim Wildlife Center when the crash occurred, he said.





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