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Nine dead after car crash involving US college golf teams

At least six golf players and a coach from a university in New Mexico were killed in the head-on collision in West Texas

Nine people, including at least six students and a coach on their way home from representing a university in a golf tournament, were killed in a West Texas car crash according to local authorities. 

Sergeant Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety said six students in a University of the Southwest vehicle carrying the college’s women’s and men’s golf teams were killed alongside a member of the faculty, with another two students in critical condition flown to a hospital in Lubbock 110 miles away from where the incident unfolded.

The crash occurred when a pickup truck crossed a two-lane road’s center line in Andrews County around 30 miles east of the state border with New Mexico, with the driver of the pickup and its passenger also killed. 

“It’s a very tragic scene,” Blanco said. “It’s very, very tragic.”

University of the Southwest president Quint Thurman confirmed on Wednesday that the team vehicle was driven by golf coach Tyler James, who was among the dead.

“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,” lamented Thurman.

The private Christian college in Hobbs, New Mexico, added that it was “coordinating with Texas DPS to assist with the investigation and public information efforts” and is “communicating with families of the students and coaching staff to provide more information as it becomes available”.

The university’s men’s and women’s golf teams were scheduled to compete in a tournament at Midland College, around 100 miles away, on Wednesday, but Midland College have confirmed that play involving eleven schools will be canceled.

“All of the players and their coaches from the participating schools met together early this morning,” said Midland College athletic director Forrest Allen. “We were all shocked to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with USW as they grieve this terrible loss.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also revealed that she was “deeply saddened” by the “terrible accident”.

“As we await additional information from authorities, my prayers are with the community and the loved ones of all those involved,” Grisham wrote on Facebook.

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The National Transportation Safety Board said it will send a 12-member “go team” to the site of the crash on Wednesday afternoon or evening made up of experts in human performance, vehicle and motor carrier factors and accident reconstruction according to agency spokesman Eric Weiss.

The crash occurred in the same area where a pickup truck collided with a school bus that was carrying members of the Andrews High School’s band in November and killed three people including the band’s director, the school’s bus driver and the driver of the pickup.

https://ift.tt/B1c0lWG 17, 2022 at 12:31AM
from RT – Daily news

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