Golf balls adorn a makeshift memorial at the Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Wednesday. AP
Six members of a New Mexico college's men's and women's golf teams and a coach were among nine people killed in a fiery, head-on collision in West Texas on Tuesday that left two others hospitalised, the school and local media said.
A pickup truck crossed the center line of a two-lane road in Andrews County, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of the New Mexico state line on Tuesday evening and crashed into a van carrying members of the University of the Southwest men's and women's golf teams, said Sgt. Steven Blanco of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The accident occurred when a pickup truck crashed into a passenger van owned by University of the Southwest, NBC affiliate KWES-TV reported.
USW, a private Christian university in Hobbs, New Mexico, said its van was carrying nine people, seven of whom died, and said two others are in critical condition at a Texas hospital.
Doug McDaniel sets a wreath at a memorial to the six golfers and their coach who were killed in an accident. AP
The pickup truck's driver and passenger also died in the crash, which occurred in Andrews County, Texas. It is not known what caused the truck to veer into the other vehicle, the local TV station reported.
The college said the van was carrying members and the coach of the school's men's and women's golf teams back to campus from a tournament in Midland, Texas.
"The USW campus community is shocked and saddened today as we mourn the loss of members of our university family," USW said in a statement.
USW and Texas law enforcement both did not immediately respond to requests for more information.
Rockwind Community Links Manager Ben Kirkes speaks with golfers in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Wednesday. AP
USW golf coach Tyler James was the driver of the university van, according to Midland College, the Texas school that was hosting 11 schools for a golf tournament over two days. The second day of play was canceled.
James, the coach who died in the accident, was in his first season as head coach of USW's golf program, his school bio said.
"This is a devastating loss to that school, and words cannot express how deeply hurt we feel for their loss," Midland College President Steve Thomas said in a statement, and he ordered the school's flag to fly at half-staff through Friday to honor the USW teams.
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