Members Of University Golf Team Killed In Head-On Crash In West Texas

ANDREWS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A vehicle carrying golf team members from the University of the Southwest collided head-on with a pickup in West Texas, killing several team members and one coach.

The vehicles crashed Tuesday night on a two-lane road in Andrews County, about nine miles northwest of Midland-Odessa and Sgt. Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety told KWES-TV there were fatalities in both vehicles, but the number of dead wasn’t immediately released.

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Wednesday morning the University issued a statement that said, in part —

“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.”

(credit: CNN)

The van was transporting members of the men’s and women’s golf teams from a golf tournament, Blanco said, and the other vehicle involved was a Ford F-150.

The teams had been scheduled to play in a tournament Tuesday at Midland College, about 315 miles west of Dallas. At least one member of the men’s team is from the Metroplex. Johnathan Flores grew up in Colleyville and attended Colleyville Heritage High School. It isn’t known if he was one of the golfer’s who made the trip to Midland.

The University of the Southwest is a private, Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the state’s border with Texas.

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In a statement University President Quint Thurman said that Tyler James, who coached both the men’s and women’s golf teams, was among those killed.

“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,” Thurman said.

The university said on social media that it was working to notify family members of those involved in the crash, and counseling and religious services would be available on campus.

The crash is under investigation. The roadway where the crash occurred — FM 1788, near SH 115 — was closed early Wednesday.

The crash happened in the same area — but not the same roadway — where three people were killed in November when a pickup truck crashed into a school bus carrying members of the Andrews High School band.

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CBS Dallas / Fort Worth