ANDREWS, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a vehicle carrying members of the University of the Southwest's golf team collided head-on with a pickup truck in West Texas, killing multiple people.
Sgt. Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety told KWES-TV the vehicles collided Tuesday night in Andrews County and there were fatalities in both vehicles, but the number of dead wasn't immediately released.
Blanco said a bus or van was transporting members of the men's and women's golf teams from a golf tournament in the West Texas area.
KWES-TV reported that the coach of both teams, Tyler James, was confirmed as a fatality in the crash.
The University of the Southwest, which is located in New Mexico, said on Twitter that it was working to notify family members of those involved in the crash.
The school released the following statement on social media.
"The University of the Southwest can confirm that there has been a fatal bus accident involving the USW men's and women's golf teams. The university is currently attempting to notify family members of those involved in the accident. Counseling and religious services will be available to students, faculty, and staff on campus. The university will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available."
Later on Wednesday morning, the school shared an updated statement, indicating that seven passengers on the bus died in the crash and two are in critical condition.
"The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family. Last night, the men’s and women’s golf teams were traveling back to campus from 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. While the accident investigation is still underway, reports indicate that seven passengers aboard the bus were killed in the crash. Two of the passengers are in critical condition undergoing medical treatment in Lubbock, Texas. USW is coordinating with Texas DPS to assist with the investigation and public information efforts. University administration is communicating with families of the students and coaching staff to provide more information as it becomes available.
USW counseling staff and the worship team will be available on campus today to provide support for students, faculty, and staff. Please keep the families of students, coaching staff, and the USW community in your prayers as we come together to support one another during this difficult time."