Multiple people were killed Tuesday night when a bus carrying members of a New Mexico university’s golf teams and a pickup collided in West Texas, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Steven Blanco said the crash happened around 8:17 pm on a two-lane road about nine miles from the city of Andrews, northwest of Midland-Odessa.
The crash involved a vehicle carrying members of the University of the Southwest’s men’s and women’s golf teams, the university said. Blanco said the crash was a head-on collision with a pickup.
There were deaths in both vehicles, and both caught fire after the crash, he said.
“Both suffered extremely heavy damage,” Blanco said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
Blanco said at the scene that the university-owned vehicle was transporting the teams from a golf tournament in West Texas, according to video from NBC affiliate KWES of Midland.
A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the vehicle carrying the teams was a 17-passenger van, while University of the Southwest President Quint Thurman said it was a 12-passenger van.
The van was driven by the teams’ coach and carrying between seven and nine students, Thurman said.
“My understanding is that two of our students have survived and have been airlifted to University hospital in Lubbock with serious injuries,” Thurman said. He said those were the only two survivors.
“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 in a statement.
Thurman identified the coach who was killed as Tyler James. A biography on the school’s athletics site said James was in his first season as the head coach of the men’s and women’s golf program.
The university, which is in Hobbs, New Mexico, said in a post on social media that it was attempting to notify family members of the people involved in the accident.
The university’s website listed events for both golf teams at Midland College on Tuesday. A post on the school’s athletics Instagram said they would be competing in the TankLogix Collegiate.
Elisha Fieldstadt contributed.