Officers in Texas have identified The University of the Southwest golfers Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Colorado; Karisa Raines, 21, of Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal; as the victims of a deadly crash Tuesday night.

The six golfers, along with their coach, Tyler James, and two others driving a pick-up truck that collided with the school’s van, were all killed in the tragic accident. The incident, which is still being investigated by The Texas Highway Patrol, occurred as the team was traveling back home to New Mexico following a tournament in Midland, Tx.

The driver of the pickup truck was also identified as Henrich Siemens, 38. He was killed alongside an unidentified 13-year-old boy in the truck with him. Two unnamed survivors, airlifted via helicopter, are currently fighting for their lives in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

“I want to personally thank everyone who has reached out to our University in the past 24 hours. The outpouring of support is greatly appreciated and will help us get through this very difficult time,” University of the Southwest Director of Athletics Steve Appel said in an official statement released late afternoon Wednesday.

“My sincere condolences go out to everyone involved in this fatal accident that occurred,” he continued. “This will be a huge hurdle that we will all have to overcome, and it will be a very difficult time for many.”

Their head coach, Tyler James, was the head of both the men’s and women’s golf teams. He was the first to be identified since he was the driver of the school van. According to the school, it was his first year as head coach.

Tyler James, University of Southwest's golf coach, killed in tragic road accident
Tyler James, University of Southwest’s golf coach, killed in tragic road accident. Photo Credit: University of the Southwest Athletics

“USW is a tight-knit family, and I am confident we will work together to get through this,” Athletic Director Steve Appel stated. “We have amazing people and students here, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else to get through something like this.”

He asked for privacy during these difficult times, and that the school would provide more updates as they became available.

Though little is known of Mauricio Sanchez, Travis Garcia, and the students involved in the crash – outside of their connection to the University of the Southwest’s golf team – there has been an outpouring of condolences on social media.

“Awful to hear the news of the University of the Southwest’s golf teams being involving in a fatal bus crash,” said Sir Nick Faldo, a former professional golfer, on Twitter. “Such a sad and tragic loss after what was meant to be a fun, exciting trip. My condolences to all.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham stated that she was “deeply saddened” by the terrible accident, and that her “prayers are with the community and the loved ones of all those involved.”

The Mexican Golf Federation also expressed its condolences to the family and friends over the passing of Mauricio Sanchez, who was also a member of the Pulgas Pandas Golf Club.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Steven Blanco has been working with authorities, first responders, and crash cleanup teams since the collision occurred on Tuesday night.

“It’s a very tragic scene,” he said of the crash after authorities first arrived. “Very, very tragic.”

“For unknown reasons, the Dodge pickup drove into the northbound lane and struck the Ford passenger van head on,” Sgt. Blanco explained. “Both vehicles caught fire and burned.”

As law enforcement tries to understand what happened, the school is notifying families of the accident. The school is also providing counseling services to students and faculty on campus. The Midland College Golf Tournament was also canceled to pay respects to those who lost their lives in the tragedy.