6 college athletes, coach among 9 killed in fiery crash

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:18 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 12:29 PM CDT
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ANDREWS, Texas (KCBD) - Nine people were killed in a crash Tuesday night when a van carrying members of a New Mexico university’s golf team crashed head-on with a pickup truck. It happened just after 8 p.m. Tuesday evening about nine miles from Andrews.

The van was carrying nine members of the University of the Southwest’s men’s and women’s golf teams.

Here is the donation site to the USW Victims Fund: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/usw-victims-fund

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. For unknown reasons, the Dodge pickup drove into the northbound lane and struck the Ford passenger van head-on. Both vehicles caught fire and burned.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending a go-team to Andrews to investigate the crash.

University officials say there were nine passengers in the van and it was driven by the team’s coach. University of the Southwest President Quint Thurman tells NBC NewsChannel that only two people in the van survived the crash and were airlifted to hospitals in Lubbock. DPS officials say the two survivors are in critical condition. Hospital officials with University Medical Center say one student was brought to UMC, the other was taken to Covenant Health.

DPS officials say six students and a faculty member, who was driving the van, died in the crash. The driver of the pickup and the passenger also died in the crash.

Texas DPS released the names of the victims on Wednesday afternoon.

Driver and passenger in the Dodge pickup, 38-year-old Henrich Siemens of Seminole and a 13-year-old boy, both died in the crash.

Occupants of the Ford Transit van, 26-year-old Tyler James of Hobbs; 19-year-old Maurico Sanchez of Mexico; 19-year-old Travis Garcia of Pleasanton, Texas; 22-year-old Jackson Zinn of Westminster, Colorado; 21-year-old Karissa Raines of Fort Stockton, Texas; and 18-year-old Tiago Sousa of Portugal; all died in the crash.

19-year-old Dayton Price of Mississauga Ontario, Canada and 20-year-old Hayden Underhill of Amherstview Ontario, Canada are both in critical condition in Lubbock hospitals.

The golf teams were in a tournament and had played in Midland. They were headed back to Hobbs.

The University of the Southwest’s President confirms the coach, Tyler James, was one of the people killed in the crash. James was in his first season as the head coach of the men’s and women’s golf program.

University officials say they are attempting to notify the next of kin of the people involved in the crash.

Below is a statement from the University of the Southwest regarding the fatal crash involving their golf team:

“The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family. Last night, the men’s and women’s golf teams were traveling back to campus from competition in Midland, Texas, when their bus was struck by oncoming traffic. Nine passengers, including the coach, were on the university bus involved in the fatal accident. While the accident investigation is still underway, reports indicate that seven passengers aboard the bus were killed in the crash. Two of the passengers are in critical condition undergoing medical treatment in Lubbock, Texas. USW is coordinating with Texas DPS to assist with the investigation and public information efforts. University administration is communicating with families of the students and coaching staff to provide more information as it becomes available.

USW counseling staff and the worship team will be available on campus today to provide support for students, faculty, and staff. Please keep the families of students, coaching staff, and the USW community in your prayers as we come together to support one another during this difficult time.”

Maria Duarte, Marketing and Stakeholder Relations Director Scholarship Coordinator Alumni Relations Coordinator

The crash is still under investigation.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following news of a fatal bus crash outside Andrews, Texas:

“Please join Jan and me in prayer for the all of the victims of last night’s horrific bus crash involving the University of the Southwest men’s and women’s golf teams outside Andrews, Texas. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and the entire University of the Southwest community during this difficult time. During tragedies such as this one, Texans also know to thank our brave first responders for their important work and dedication to Texas communities.”

Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement on the fatal vehicle crash near Andrews in West Texas that killed nine people and critically injured two others last night. Among the victims were members and a coach of the University of the Southwest men’s and women’s golf teams who were visiting Texas from New Mexico for a tournament.

“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,” said Governor Abbott. “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.”

Statement from Midland College Golf Coach Walt Williams:

Very tragic, very sad. Coach Tyler Jones was a friend and a colleague and will be greatly missed. He was a wonderful young man and was already building a nice program at USW.

We canceled the final round of our tournament and took the scoreboard down but have left only USW’s scores on the board in honor of these great young people and their coach. Please keep them and their families in your prayers.

Walt Williams, Midland College Golf

This is a developing story.

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