Tuesday, December 6, 2022

What we know about the people killed in New Mexico college golf team crash

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Six golfers and a coach from a New Mexico college have been killed Tuesday when a pickup swerved head-on into their lane and hit the van they have been touring in from a match in West Texas.

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Two of the University of the Southwest college students survived and have been in crucial situation after being flown to a Lubbock hospital.

The college students who have been killed have been 18 to 22 years outdated and from Portugal, Mexico, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, in line with the Texas Department of Public Safety, which recognized them.

The pickup’s driver, Henrich Siemens, 38, and a 13-year-old boy have been additionally killed.

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“The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family,” the non-public Christian college close to the Texas state line stated in a press release.

Here’s what we know about the victims:

Tyler James, 26, was in his first season main the males’s and girls’s golf program at the University of the Southwest. James had beforehand coached and recruited at different colleges, together with East Texas Baptist University, the place he helped flip the golf groups into high opponents, in accordance to a college biography.

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James graduated from ETBU in May with a grasp’s of science in kinesiology. While there, he had been the graduate assistant coach for the golf program.

His “dream job,” stated Ryan Erwin, vp for scholar engagement and athletics at ETBU, was to be a head coach “and he was living out his dream.”

After beginning his college career playing golf at Ottawa University in Kansas, he transferred to Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, according to his biography on the University of the Southwest website.

“He had a passion for golf, you could tell that from the very start. He’d pretty much eat, sleep and drink golf,” said Troy Drummond, Howard Payne University’s head golf coach and associate athletic director for operations.

Walt Williams, the golf coach at Midland College, described James’ death as “very tragic.”

“He was a beautiful younger man and was already constructing a pleasant program at USW,” Williams said in a statement.

Laci Stone, 18, was “an absolute ray of sunshine throughout this quick time on earth,” her mother, Chelsi, wrote on Facebook Wednesday.

“We won’t ever be the identical after this and we simply don’t perceive how this occurred to our wonderful, stunning, sensible, joyful woman,” Chelsi Stone wrote.

She added that Laci had convinced her recently to get matching tattoos, and she was “so endlessly grateful that God gave me the braveness to undergo with it and at all times have this reminiscence together with her.”

“If you know Laci in any respect you know she might be having the largest karaoke social gathering she will and singing Whitney at the high of her lungs,” the mom added. She posted a single picture of her and Laci showing off their matching ink — small red hearts on the insides of their left arms.

Laci was recalled by her high school golf coach, Colby Schniederjan, as one of his favorite kids — someone who was hardworking and optimistic, with a great smile that could light up the room.

Laci Stone with high school coach Heather Nobile.
Laci Stone with high school coach Heather Nobile.Courtesy Heather Nobile

“She joked and sang and lived life to the fullest, and it’s going to be actually laborious to not have her round anymore,” he said.

Schniederjan, who coached Stone for her sophomore, junior and senior years at Nocona High School, said the tight-knit community a couple hours northwest of Dallas was “devastated” by her death.

Stone, a freshman, was majoring in global business management and wanted to be a “recognized enterprise proprietor,” according to her roster bio. She said her favorite golf memories were made while riding in the van with her team.

Travis Garcia, 19, was a freshman from Pleasanton, Texas, studying criminal justice with hopes of working for the Secret Service someday, according to an athlete profile on the university’s website.

In a statement, Tab Dumont, the athletic director of the Pleasanton Independent School District, said the community was in shock. He recalled Garcia as a “phenomenal golfer and nice child” from a great family.

“The thing about Travis was he worked hard and everyone saw that and it made everyone around him work just as hard as he did,” Pleasanton golf coach Mike Guerra told the San Antonio Express-News. “Travis was a main reason why we qualified for the state tournament for the first time in the school’s history last year.”

Losing Garcia, Guerra told the newspaper, “hit me like I misplaced my son.”

Jackson Zinn, 22, was a junior from Colorado who was majoring in hospital management and minoring in sports management, according to his college bio.

Jackson Zinn.
Jackson Zinn.Courtesy Zinn Family

A family friend, Heather Simms Schichtel, said he also taught special needs children with a soccer league in the city of Westminster.

“To know Jackson was to know his candy nature, his piercing blue eyes, fast wit and dimples you swear might wink,” she said in a Facebook post. “He cherished his household, cherished golf and was true to his religion.”

“Devastated doesn’t do justice,” she said. 

Family pastor Pastor Rick Long advised NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver that Zinn was “an completed scholar.”

“He had a 4.0 this year. He was an amazing golfer who I believed had an opportunity to go all the way and play at the very highest level,” Long said.

One of Zinn’s two sisters told Long that she was looking forward to growing up with her brother by her side.

“She said, ‘I couldn’t wait for us to be friends as adults and really enjoy this next season in our lives, and now that is not going to happen,’” Long stated. 

Karisa Raines, 21, was a junior from Fort Stockton, Texas, who was studying biology and was on track to graduate a year early, her father, Gary Raines, told NBC’s “TODAY” show.

She had planned to return to school for a master’s degree in forensic science, he said.

Karisa Raines.
Karisa Raines.Courtesy Sandy Raines

“We maintain pondering as soon as in some time we’re going to get up from this horrible nightmare,” he said. “But it isn’t occurring. This is one thing that occurs to different people. But proper now we are the different people.”

Karisa is survived by three siblings, including a twin brother, and three step-siblings, he said.

Mauricio Sanchez, 19, was a freshman, in line with a scholar profile.

According to the Mexican Golf Federation, he played for both the University of the Southwest and the Pulgas Pandas Golf Club.

“We lengthen our deepest condolences to household and associates,” the federation said.

Tiago Sousa, 18, was a freshman at the college, the college stated on its athletics web page.

In his bio on College Sports America, Sousa described himself as “dedicated, hard-working, trustworthy, assured” and a “fighter.”

“My final dream is … to win a serious championship! For this purpose I’m prepared to present all the pieces as this has been my dream since I began taking part in,” Sousa wrote. “I will likely be working laborious on the golf course in addition to in the classroom so that every one my goals grow to be a actuality!”

Dayton Price, 19, and Hayden Underhill, 20, both of Ontario, Canada, were in critical condition.

University of the Southwest Provost Ryan Tipton said Thursday that school President Quint Thurman had traveled to Lubbock to be with their families at the hospital.

The two students are “making regular progress,” Tipton said. “One is consuming hen soup.”

“They are each steady and recovering and on a regular basis making increasingly more progress,” he said.

The tight-knit campus, which Tipton described as a family, was reeling after the loss of their classmates and the coach.

He stated many college students are on spring break, and desperate to get again to campus to assist each other. A memorial will likely be held subsequent week, Tipton stated.

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