(CMR) Nine people, including six students and a coach from a New Mexico university who were returning home from a golf tournament, were killed in a fiery, head-on collision in West Texas on Tuesday.
Police identified the deceased as: Golf coach Tyler James (26) of Hobbs, New Mexico; and players Mauricio Sanchez (19) of Mexico; Travis Garcia (19) of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn (22) of Westminster, Colorado; Karisa Raines (21) of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone (18) of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa (18) of Portugal.
Also killed were Henrich Siemans, 38, of Seminole County, Texas, and an unidentified 13-year-old boy who had been traveling with him in a 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup.
Two Canadian students were hospitalized in critical condition. Dayton Price (19) of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill (20) of Amherstview, Ontario, were taken by helicopter to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, about 110 miles to the northeast.
Reports are that the pickup truck crossed the centerline of a two-lane road in Andrews County, about 30 miles east of the New Mexico state line, and crashed into a 2017 Ford Transit van carrying members of the University of Southwest's men's and women's golf teams.
“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,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said
The University of the Southwest is a private, Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the state's border with Texas.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Facebook that she is “deeply saddened” by the loss of life.
“This is a terrible accident. As we await additional information from authorities, my prayers are with the community and the loved ones of all those involved,” she said.
The teams had been taking part in a golf tournament at Midland College, about 315 miles west of Dallas.
“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,” University President Quint Thurman said in a statement.
The university said on Twitter that counseling and religious services would be available on campus.
Midland College, which hosted the golf tournament, said Wednesday's play would be canceled because of the crash. Eleven schools were participating in the event.