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Colorado family shares stories of 22-year-old golfer killed in West Texas crash

Jackson Zinn was one of nine people who died Tuesday when a pickup truck collided with a van carrying a college golf team.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — On Thursday afternoon, the family couch offered the kind of comfort Jen and Greg Zinn never expected they'd need.

Huddled together with their two daughters in a house full of extended family and friends, they shared stories about Jackson Zinn.

“He just knew how to draw the best out of people," Jen Zinn said, grasping her daughters' hands.

Jackson Zinn's mother affectionately described him as a "mama's boy," but he was also his dad's best golfing buddy.

“He was an amazing young man, and I know I’ll see him again, but dang it, I wish I had him here for a little longer," Greg Zinn said.

Jackson Zinn was one of nine people killed in a car crash in West Texas Tuesday afternoon. 

The National Transportation Safety Board said a 13-year-old was driving a pickup truck that crashed head-on into a van carrying Zinn and other members of the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams. The 13-year-old driver of the pickup and an adult passenger also died in the crash.

RELATED: NTSB: Child was driving pickup that struck van in West Texas, killing 9

“I’ll miss the stuff that we aren’t going to get to do," Greg Zinn said. "That’s the hard part.”

Pictures of Jackson Zinn and his dimpled smile were laid out on a table in the family room. The 22-year-old had aspirations to play on the PGA Tour, and his parents know he had to work ethic to make it happen.

They described a son who was a talented golfer and a kind, inclusive person. 

“I don’t care how old you are, you can learn from [Jackson] and how he lived his life," Jen Zinn said. “Everybody has a chance to leave their mark, and it can be good or bad, and his was spectacular.”

The family spent Thursday afternoon sharing stories that made them smile, laugh and cry. They told stories that made them proud. 

“I think his appeal is that he related to everybody and reached everybody," Jen Zinn said.

The Zinn family couch never felt so empty and full.

"We are so much more the richer having [Jackson] in our life, and I wouldn’t change it," Greg Zinn said.

A celebration of life honoring Jackson Zinn is scheduled for March 26 at Grace Church of Arvada. A memorial fund has been set up on GoFundMe.

RELATED: Golfer from Westminster among 9 killed in Texas crash

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