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University golfer, 22, from Colorado among 9 killed in Texas crash

Jackson Zinn.jpg
Posted at 3:22 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 10:45:31-04

ANDREWS COUNTY, Texas — A college junior from Westminster was one of the nine people killed in a head-on crash in West Texas Tuesday evening.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that Jackson Zinn, 22, died in the crash.

He is one of six students from the University of the Southwest, along with one faculty member, who were killed. The group — all members of the school's men's and women's golf teams — was riding in a Ford passenger van and returning from a golf tournament in Midland, Texas. The two people in the second car, a Dodge 2500 pickup, were also killed.

In addition, two students are in critical condition.

Zinn was a junior at the New Mexico university. He graduated from Ralston Valley High School in 2018, according to his biography on the school's golf team website. After high school, he attended New Mexico Military Institute from 2018 to 2019.

He was majoring in hospitality management and minoring in sports management at the University of the Southwest.

His bio reads that his favorite team was the Denver Broncos.

The crash happened on Tuesday at 8:17 p.m. on Farm to Market Road 1788 (FM 1788) about half a mile north of State Highway 115 in Andrews County. The driver of the Dodge was traveling southbound and the driver of the Ford was heading northbound, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

According to the preliminary investigation, the Dodge moved into the northbound lane and struck the Ford head-on. Both vehicles caught fire.

The five other students killed have been identified as:

  • Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico
  • Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas
  • Karissa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas
  • Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas
  • Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal

The faculty member was identified as Tyler James, 26, of Hobbs, New Mexico. The two injured students are 19 and 20 years old.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Henrich Siemens, 38, of Seminole, Texas, and a 13-year-old male were in the Dodge and died. The National Transportation Safety Board said the teen was driving the truck at the time of the crash. According to the Associated Press, NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said the truck’s left front tire, which was a spare, blew out before impact.

The crash investigation is ongoing.