9 Dead in Fiery Car Crash involving Christian University Students
Editor's Note, March 18, 2022: This article has been updated to reflect the newly released information that the 13-year-old killed in the crash was driving the pickup truck at the time of the accident.
On Tuesday evening, nine people, including a golf coach and six students from the University of the Southwest, a private Christian college, died in a fiery car crash.
According to the Associated Press, Sargent Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the USW students and their coach were heading home from a golf tournament when a 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup truck crossed the centerline of a two-lane road in Andrews County, Texas and collided with the team's van.
Henrich Siemans, 38, and an unidentified 13-year-old who were traveling in the pickup truck were killed in the crash. According to USA Today, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg confirmed during a Thursday news conference that the 13-year-old was driving the pickup truck at the time of the crash.
Golf coach Tyler James, 26; and players Mauricio Sanchez, 19; Travis Garcia, 19; Jackson Zinn, 22; Karisa Raines, 21; Laci Stone, 18; and Tiago Sousa, 18, were also killed. Two other students, Dayton Price, 19; and Hayden Underhill, 20, were hospitalized and are in critical condition.
After hearing the news of the crash, USW released a statement asking for prayers for the victims' families.
"The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family," the school wrote in a statement on its website. "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," the school added.
USW is located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the New Mexico-Texas border.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also released a statement noting that she was praying for the community.
"I am deeply saddened by news of a fatal crash involving students and staff from the University of the Southwest in Hobbs. This is a terrible, tragic accident," Grisham wrote on Facebook. "As we await additional information from authorities, my prayers are with the community and the loved ones of all those involved."
A memorial was set up for Wednesday for the coach and students.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/z1b
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.