ANDREWS COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar)- The Department of Public Safety has now released new information in a deadly crash that left seven University of the Southwest staff members and students dead. The school is located in Hobbs, New Mexico, and the van was headed back to Hobbs following a golf tournament in Texas.
According to DPS, the two vehicle crash happened around 8:17 p.m. on March 15 on FM 1788, about a half mile north of SH 115. The driver of a Dodge 2500 pickup truck was heading southbound, and for unknown reasons veered into the northbound lane, colliding head-on with a Ford Transit van carrying members of the golf team. Both vehicles caught fire following the crash.
Six students as well as one staff member died in the crash, according to DPS . University leaders earlier said Head Coach James Tyler was driving the van. Two students were airlifted to University Medical Center in Lubbock for care, those students are said to be in critical condition. Additionally, both the driver and the passenger of the Dodge were killed. The names of the victims have not yet been released.
The crash is being investigated by the Texas Highway Patrol’s West Texas Region District Crash Team with assistance by the National Transportation Safety Board. The crash investigation is still ongoing.
The University of the Southwest has confirmed multiple deaths after a 17-passanger van, owned by the school, crashed Tuesday evening.
In a statement, university leaders said, “The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family.”
The University of the Southwest has confirmed Head Golf Coach Tyler James has died after the 17-passanger van he was driving was involved in a head-on crash late Tuesday evening. The van was carrying members of the men’s and women’s golf teams home from a tournament from Midland.
James was the head coach for both teams, it was his first year on the job.
Further, the university said two surviving students have been airlifted to a Lubbock hospital with serious injuries. It is believed by campus leaders that the air-lifted students were the only students to survive. However, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson said he is not yet able to confirm how many people died in the crash, nor have the identities of the victims been released.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers are on the scene of a deadly crash involving a college van in rural Andrews County.
According to a DPS spokesman, the crash happened around 8:17 p.m. about a quarter of a mile north of the intersection of 115 and FM 1788, about nine miles east of Andrews. The head-on collision happened between a University of the Southwest bus or large passenger van and another vehicle.
At least one person has died. The total number of casualties has not been confirmed.
The road has been closed as crews investigate the crash and work to clear the scene. Drivers should expect the road to be closed for the next several hours.
According to the school, the bus/van was carrying members of the men’s and women’s golf teams. University leaders said the school is working to notify the families of all those involved in the crash. Additionally, the school will have counseling and religious services available to all students, faculty, and staff on campus.