According to authorities, the head coach and six members of the University of the Southwest men’s and women’s golf teams were among nine people killed in a head-on vehicle crash in Texas.
According to a statement from the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico, the crash happened Tuesday night near Midland, Texas, and only two people aboard the college team’s van survived.
Tyler James, the head coach of both the men’s and women’s golf teams, was among those killed, according to the college. According to the school’s statement, the coach and his teams were returning home from a tournament in Midland when the crash occurred. “The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family,” school officials said in a statement to Midland ABC affiliate KMID.
The names of the students killed were not released immediately.
According to the school’s statement, two passengers in the team van who survived the crash were in critical condition Wednesday at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.
“We would like to ask for prayers for their recovery, as well as for comfort and strength for all of the families, friends, and students of those who have died,” school officials said in a statement. The crash occurred around 8:17 p.m. Tuesday on a two-lane road about nine miles east of Andrews, Texas, when the 17-seat passenger van carrying the golf teams collided with a pickup truck, according to Sgt. Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
According to authorities, two people in the pickup truck were killed.
According to preliminary findings, the driver of the southbound pickup truck veered into the northbound lanes for unknown reasons, colliding with the van, according to the Department of Public Safety on Wednesday. According to the agency, both vehicles caught fire as a result of the collision.
The Texas Highway Patrol’s West Texas Region is still investigating the cause of the crash, according to Blanco. The National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday afternoon that it has dispatched an 11-member team to Texas, including accident reconstruction experts, to conduct an investigation of the crash alongside the highway patrol.
At a press conference, NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss stated that the speed limit in the crash area is 75 mph. Weiss stated that determining the speed of the vehicles at the time of the collision will be part of the investigation.
“It’s a heartbreaking scene. Tragic, tragic, tragic “Blanco described the crash to officers when they arrived.
University officials confirmed that James was driving the vehicle at the time of the collision.
According to school officials, James was in his first year as head coach of both the women’s and men’s golf teams. Officials at the school said Wednesday that they were working to notify the families of all those involved in the crash, as well as to provide counseling and religious services to all students, faculty, and staff on campus.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement Wednesday urging Texans to pray for the families of those who died and the recovery of two critically injured students.
“We mourn with the families of those whose lives were tragically cut short in this fatal vehicle crash near Andrews last night,” Abbott said.