A head-on crash just outside of Andrews, Texas took the lives University of the Southwest (USW) head golf coach and six members of the golf team, as well as the driver and passenger of the other vehicle involved, Tuesday evening. 

“A Dodge 2500 pickup was traveling southbound on FM 1788. A Ford Transit passenger van registered to the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M. was traveling northbound,” the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

The fiery crash occurred around 8:17 p.m., according to the Texas Department of Public Safey. Only two people of the nine aboard the college team’s van survived, the University of the Southwest said in a statement. The two survivors are in critical condition and are being treated at University Medical Center of Lubbock, Texas.

The University confirmed that Tyler James, the head coach of both the men’s and women’s golf teams, was among those killed. The coach and his teams were returning home from a tournament in Midland, Teas when the crash occurred.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the southbound pickup truck for unknown reasons veered into the northbound lanes, colliding with the van, the DPS said. Both vehicles caught fire following the crash.

Two people in the pickup truck were killed, authorities said. The drive of the Dodge pickup was identified as Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole, Texas. while the 13-year-old male passengers name was not released.

The University identified the students who died as Laci Stone, 18 of Nocona, Texas; Mauricio Sanchez, 19 of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19 of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18 of Portugal.

The two survivors were identified as students Dayton Price, 19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario.

School officials said they were working Wednesday to notify the families of all those involved in the crash and to provide counseling and religious services to all students, faculty and staff on campus.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement Wednesday asking Texans to join in praying for the families of those whose lives were lost and for the recovery of two critically injured students.

“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 National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday afternoon that it has sent to Texas an 11-member team, including accident reconstruction experts, to conduct an investigation of the crash in conjunction with the highway patrol.

Our prayers go out for all the victims’ families and friends during this trying time. May God Bless you all.

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