The father of a college golfer killed in Tuesday’s fiery Texas crash that claimed nine lives ripped the dad who allowed his 13-year-old to drive the pickup truck that caused the wreck.
“That is the very picture of lunacy — to allow a 13-year-old behind the wheel of a pickup traveling down the road at 70 miles per hour at night. That has got to be the zenith of lunacy,” Gary Raines, father of Karisa Raines, who died in the crash, told The Post on Friday.
Karisa, a 21-year-old from Fort Stockton, Texas, was two months away from graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Southwest, her father said. Instead, her family is planning her memorial service.
Karisa was one of nine people killed in the crash near Midland, Texas. She was in a van carrying members of the men’s and women’s golf teams from the University of the Southwest.
Around 8:17 p.m., a pickup truck driven by a 13-year-old boy lost control after a tire blew out, said the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash. The boy’s father, Henrich Siemens, was also in the truck. Both of them were among the dead.
“(Henrich Siemens) was guilty of not only stupidity and lunacy, but he was also guilty of child abuse, in my opinion. Do I blame the kid for the wreck — I do not. Do I blame the father for the wreck, I do not. I blame the father for not having better sense,” said Gary Raines.
The mother of Laci Stone, who also died in the crash, told The Post she’s not sure what to make of knowing a 13-year-old was behind the wheel of the truck that killed her daughter.
“Everything happens for a reason. It’s just a very unfortunate accident. I’m not going to blame anybody for a decision they made. In the moment, they obviously didn’t know what would happen, so I can’t focus too much on that part of it right now,” said Chelsi Stone.
Both families tell The Post they’re being uplifted by the people in the small Texas towns they live in and by messages of love and support from strangers across the country. Both families are making funeral arrangements.
“I must tell you that my prayers are with the family of that (13-year-old) child. My prayers are with all of those who lost their lives because we’re not the only family that’s grieving right now. There’s a bunch of folks who are grieving and they all deserve our prayers,” said Gary Raines, who said his daughter’s number one passion was her relationship with Jesus Christ.
The 13-year-old, identified as Ricky by friends and family, was remembered on social media by his mother. Agatha Siemens posted his photo on her Facebook profile yesterday. She spoke to The Post briefly by phone Thursday, revealing that on the night of the crash, her husband and son were going to pick up a truck her husband had purchased.
Today, she wouldn’t answer phone calls from The Post, but shared by text message that a memorial fund for her husband and son has been set up at First United Bank under her name.
Ricky was responsible for a fire that burned down his family’s home just three months ago.