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Here is an article (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:METRO43/1:METRO430105100.html) on some Irish that were killed last year on their way home from a Catholic mass.


Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2000 at 23:42 CST

Police checking Interstate 30's crash victims' ages

By Melody McDonald

Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH -- Investigators are trying to obtain legal documents to verify the identities and ages of five boys killed Sunday in a two-pickup crash on Interstate 30, a police spokesman said yesterday.

Based on licenses found on their bodies, investigators initially thought their ages ranged from 13 to 20. But a program distributed at their funeral on Wednesday showed that none was older than 14. If those ages are correct, none was old enough to be driving legally in Texas.

"We are seeking documents from the states in which their licenses were issued to see if there are birth certificates for these people," Lt. Ric Clark, the police spokesman, said last night.

Tarrant County Medical Examiner's records show that Edward James Jennings was 18 years old and from Tulsa, Okla.; the funeral program showed him to be 14. The medical examiner lists both James Thomas McDonald and John Peter McDonald as 16 years old and from Georgia and Kansas, respectively. According to the program, they were 13.

Police said Martin McDonald carried identification showing that he was 20 years old; his age on the program was 12. There is no discrepancy in the age of 13-year-old Harry Gorman.

The five boys were killed instantly after their red Ford extended-cab pickup crossed a highway median, flipped and landed upside down on top of another pickup, police said.

Jennings was thrown from the truck and his body landed in a ditch near a service road 70 to 80 feet from the interstate, Clark said.

Investigators believe Jennings was driving the pickup.

"We're 99 percent sure because of the location of his shoes," Clark said. "We don't know if he didn't have them on or if they were knocked off, but we found them on the floorboard, under the steering wheel."

Clark said none of the boys was wearing a seat belt.

Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani said yesterday that his office will wait for police to resolve the age question. But if that doesn't work, he said, his investigators will use fingerprints and other biological material to get answers.

"The next of kin identified the bodies, and we depend on that," Peerwani said. "Sixty percent of the bodies are identified by the next of kin, and we don't question it.

"I think, at this point, we're going to have to depend on the police."

The driver of the second truck, Ruben Molinar Sr. of Plano, was in good condition last night at Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, a nursing supervisor said.

Melody McDonald, (817) 390-7386

Send comments to mjmcdonald@star-telegram.com

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