Nocona golfer killed in West Texas crash
NOCONA, Texas (KAUZ) - A Nocona native was among the nine people killed Tuesday night in a tragic bus crash in West Texas.
Laci Stone was a freshman majoring in Global Business Management at the University of the Southwest, where she played on the golf team while working toward her goal of becoming a business owner. She previously attended Nocona High School.
Nocona ISD Athletics announced it would cancel its softball game as players and the community mourned the unexpected loss. Laci left behind a strong legacy at the high school, where she was a multi-sport athlete up until her graduation in 2021. She earned all-district selections in both volleyball and softball as well as being named co-MVP in 2019 and 2020, and MVP in 2021.
A Dodge 2500 truck reportedly crashed into the golf team’s van, which was traveling back from a tournament at Midland College, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Officials said nine people were killed, including six University of the Southwest students and the golf coach; two other students were reportedly airlifted to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition.
Public safety officials said the truck was traveling southbound when it moved into the oncoming lane for an unknown reason and collided head-on with the van, KOSA reported. Authorities said there were fatalities in both vehicles.
University of the Southwest is a private Christian university in Hobbs, New Mexico. The university said on Twitter that it was working to notify family members, and counseling would be available on campus.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement on the crash:
“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. “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.”
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