Six students and a coach from the University of the Southwest were among nine people killed in a car crash Tuesday evening outside of Andrews, Texas.
According to reports, a pickup truck struck a van carrying members of the school’s men’s and women’s golf teams around 8:17 p.m. Tuesday night. The Texas Department of Public Safety said that the pickup truck crossed over into oncoming traffic, striking the van and setting both cars on fire. The driver of the pickup truck was killed along with a passenger, according to the Associated Press.
“A Dodge 2500 pickup was traveling southbound on FM 1788. A Ford Transit passenger van registered to the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, NM was traveling northbound on FM 1788,” the DPS said in a statement.
“For unknown reasons, the Dodge pickup drove into the northbound lane and struck the Ford passenger van head on,” DPS Sgt. Steven Blanco said. “Both vehicles caught fire and burned.”
The University of the Southwest is a small school in Hobbs, New Mexico, of under 1,000 students.
“We are still learning the details about the accident but we are devastated and deeply saddened to learn about the loss of our students’ lives and their coach,” University of the Southwest President Quint Thurman said in a statement to NBC News. “My understanding is that two of our students have survived and have been airlifted to University hospital in Lubbock with serious injuries. We would ask for prayers for their recovery and for comfort and strength for all of families and friends and students of those whose lives have been lost.”
The golf team was reportedly heading back from a tournament at Midland College when the crash occurred. The tournament canceled play on Thursday following the news.
“We extend our condolences to the USW family,” Midland College President Dr. Steve Thomas said. “This is a devastating loss to that school, and words cannot express how deeply hurt we feel for their loss. I have ordered the MC flag to fly at half-staff through Friday to honor the memories of Coach Tyler James and his team.”
“All of the players and their coaches from the participating schools met together early this morning,” Midland College Athletic Director Forrest Allen said. “We were all shocked to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with USW as they grieve this terrible loss. I have talked with USW’s Athletic Director Steve Appel to let him know that all Midland College athletic team players and coaches are ready to help in any way during this time.”
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R-TX) released a statement calling for Texans to pray for the families impacted by the accident.
“We grieve with the loved ones of the individuals whose lives were horrifically taken too soon in this fatal vehicle crash near Andrews last night,” Abbott said in a statement. “The Texas Department of Public Safety is working closely with local officials to investigate this accident, and we offer our full support to the University of the Southwest and the state of New Mexico. I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the families of those whose lives were lost and for the recovery of two critically injured students.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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