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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Nine dead after New Mexico Southwestern University golf team crashes returning from Texas tournament

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The crash site Tuesday night (USA Today)

Nine people have died after a bus belonging to the University of the Southwest (USW) crashed with members of its golf teams on board.

The USW men’s and women’s golf teams were returning home from competition at Midland College in West Texas when the accident occurred Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, the University told The Independent there were nine people on board the bus when it collided head-on with a Ford pickup nine miles from the town of Andrews, northwest of Midland-Odessa.

Nine people have died, including the USW coach and six students.

Two other students who were taken to Lubbock, Texas, for medical treatment are believed to remain in critical condition on Wednesday and the names of the eight victims have not been released.

USW coach Tyler James has been confirmed among the victims.

“The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our college family,” USW spokeswoman Maria Duarte said. “Last night, the men’s and women’s golf teams were returning to campus from a competition in Midland, Texas, when their bus was struck by oncoming traffic.”

“Nine passengers, including the coach, were on the university bus involved in the fatal accident,” Ms Duarte added. “While the accident investigation is still ongoing, reports indicate that seven passengers on board the bus were killed in the accident.”

USW golf teams were due to return to Midland College on Wednesday as part of the two-day TankLogix Collegiate, according to the university’s athletic team. The two universities are about 100 miles apart on either side of the New Mexico-Texas border.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Steven Blanco described the scene as “tragic” and said “there are dead in that vehicle” at a news conference Tuesday night. An investigation is underway with the cooperation of USW.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the crash as “horrible” and said, “We mourn the loved ones of the people whose lives were taken horribly too soon in this fatal car crash near Andrews last night.”

“The Texas Department of Public Safety is working closely with local officials to investigate this accident and we offer our full support to the University of the Southwest and the State of New Mexico. I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the families of those whose lives were lost and for the recovery of two critically injured students.”

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