9 dead in Texas crash involving U. of Southwest golf teams

The university's golf coach, a graduate of Killeen High School, was among those killed in the fiery crash.
Posted at 6:30 AM, Mar 16, 2022

ANDREWS, Texas (AP) — ANDREWS, Texas (AP) — Nine people died in a fiery, head-on collision in West Texas, including six students and a coach from a New Mexico university who were returning home from a golf tournament, authorities said.

A pickup truck crossed the center line of a two-lane road in Andrews County and crashed into a vehicle carrying members of the University of the Southwest men’s and women’s golf teams, said Sgt. Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Six students and a faculty member were killed in the crash along with the driver and a passenger in the pickup truck, Blanco said.

Among those killed in the crash was Tyler James, the university's golf coach and a graduate of Killeen High School. James previously coached at Brownwood (Texas) High School.

Two students were taken by helicopter to a Lubbock hospital in critical condition.

“It’s a very tragic scene,” Blanco said. “It’s very, very tragic.”

The University of the Southwest is a private, Christian college located in Hobbs, New Mexico, near the state’s border with Texas. The teams had been scheduled to play in a tournament Tuesday at Midland College, about 315 miles (505 kilometers) 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 universitysaid on Twitter 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 happened in the same area — but not the same roadway — wherethree people were killed in November when a pickup truck crashed into a school bus carrying members of the Andrews High School band.

The high school’s band director, the school bus driver and the driver of the pickup truck all died in that crash.