Houston: At least nine people, including six college students, died following a crash in Texas between a pickup truck and a van carrying students from a university in the neighbouring state of New Mexico, authorities said.
The crash involved members of the University of the Southwest’s men’s and women’s golf teams from a tournament, Xinhua news agency quoted an NBC report as saying citing university officials.
On Wednesday, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sgt. Steven Blanco said the crash happened around 8.17 p.m. Tuesday on a two-lane road about 14 km from the city of Andrews, northwest of Midland-Odessa.
“A Dodge 2500 pickup was travelling southbound on FM 1788. A Ford Transit passenger van registered to the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, NM was travelling northbound on FM 1788,” the DPS said in a statement.
“For unknown reasons, the Dodge pickup drove into the northbound lane and struck the Ford passenger van head on,” Blanco said.
“Both vehicles caught fire and burned.”
“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,” said a statement from the university based in Hobbs, New Mexico.
“Two of the passengers are in critical condition undergoing medical treatment in Lubbock, Texas,” the statement added.
The driver and a passenger in the pickup truck also died following the crash, DPS said.
Members of the men’s and women’s golf teams were travelling back to their New Mexico campus from a competition when their bus was struck by oncoming traffic, the university said.
The weather in the area Tuesday evening was clear with no fog, according to a CNN report.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.