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Coach and 6 University of Southwest Golfers Among 9 Dead in Fatal West Texas Crash

University of Southwest Golf Team Van Crash | Texas Accident Lawyer

Nine people, including six members of the University of Southwest golf team and their coach, died tragically this week when a pickup truck collided with their van along a West Texas highway.

Team Was Returning from Midland Golf Tourament when Pickup Hit Van Head-On

The wreck, one of the worst involving a sports team in recent years, occurred shortly after 8:15 on Tuesday, March 15th, as the Ford Transit Van carrying the team headed north on FM 1788 in Andrews County. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Dodge 2500 pickup with two passengers aboard was headed south on the same roadway but crossed the center line and collided head-on with the van roughly one-half mile north of State Highway 115.

Both vehicles caught fire shortly after the crash.

Six members of the golf team and their coach died in the crash. All were between the ages of 18 and 26. The occupants of the pickup truck were also killed. They have since been identified as a 38-year-old many and a 13-year-old boy from Seminole, Texas.

The men’s and women’s golf teams had traveled to Texas, where many U.W.S. players had gone to high school, to compete in a collegiate tournament in Midland. Their coach had only been hired last summer. On Wednesday, tournament organizers announced that the remainder of the two-day, 11-school competition had been canceled.

2 University of Southwest Students Remain Hospitalized

“This will be a huge hurdle that we will all have to overcome, and it will be a very difficult time for many,” Steve Appel, the athletic director at the nondenominational Christian university in Hobbs, New Mexico, said in a statement obtained by The New York Times. “U.S.W. is a tight-knit family, and I am confident that we will work together to get through this.”

Two other students were transported to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition. They remained hospitalized as of last night but are said to be making steady progress in their recovery.

“It’s a game of inches, and every hour leads to them one step closer to another day…” said University of Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton, according to CNN. “There is no indication as to how long it’s going to take, but they are both stable and recovering and every day making more and more progress.”

13-Year-Old Boy Was Driving Pickup When Tire Blew Out

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have since determined that the 13-year-old boy was behind the wheel of the pickup when it collided with the van.

Preliminary information indicates the left front tire of the pickup was a full-size spare that blew out, causing the vehicle to pull hard to the left into the oncoming traffic of a two-lane roadway. Both the pickup and the van were traveling close to the posted speed limit of 75 mph.

The weather in the area of the crash was clear with no fog. Temperatures were above freezing, and winds were light.

“On the highways, 100 people (are killed) a day,” NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg told reporters. “Every two days, we are killing the equivalent of a Boeing 737 crashing. Now just think about that. That’s what’s putting this into perspective. And it’s long overdue that we start to do something about it.”

Undefeated Texas Accident Lawyers with Billions Won: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult.

Our Undefeated Texas Accident Lawyers are monitoring developments in the fatal West Texas crash and extended our heartfelt condolences to the families of those involved. We will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.

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