The father of one of the college golfers killed in a head-on collision in Texas said Thursday that he keeps expecting to wake up from “this terrible nightmare.”
Karisa Raines, 21, was one of six University of the Southwest students murdered Tuesday, along with their coach, when their team bus collided with a pickup, killing the driver and a 13-year-old kid accompanying him. Two Canadian students in critical condition were evacuated to a hospital.
“We are praying so hard for the families of all those other kids,” Raines’ father, Gary, said on “Today.”
“Right now, all we can think about is waking up from this horrible nightmare.” But it’s not going to happen.”
Sandy, Raines’ bereaved mother, is also dealing with the shock of her son’s death.
“Karisa was my child,” she explained. “I’m not sure what I’ll do without her.”
The University of the Southwest golf team was in a 2017 Ford Transit van when it collided with a 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup that had crossed into the opposite lane of the highway.
By Thursday morning, approximately $11,250 had been raised for the family, well exceeding the $7,000 goal set for burial expenses.
“Karisa was such a beautiful and loving soul who would be sorely missed by everyone,” according to the fundraiser.
(Counting clockwise from top left) The crash killed Tiago Sousa, Karissa Raines, Laci Stone, Mauricio Sanchez, Jackson Zinn, and Travis Garcia. Southwest University is a public university in Texas.
One of the other golfers killed, Laci Stone, 18, was described by her mother as “an incredible light of sunshine during her short time on earth.”
“We will never be the same after this, and we have no idea how this happened to our great, gorgeous, smart, joyous kid,” Chelsi Stone wrote on Facebook.
New information are surfacing concerning the horrific collision in Texas that killed six members and the coach of the University of the Southwest’s golf team, according to @BreakingChesky. pic.twitter.com/KZrhy6PySg
The National Transportation Safety Board announced that an investigation team would be dispatched to the collision scene in Andrews County, Texas, some 30 miles east of the New Mexico state line.
The golf team was in a 2017 Ford Transit van hauling a box trailer when it collided with a 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup that had crossed into the opposite lane on a darkened, two-lane highway.
Tyler James, the coach, was also killed in the crash.
According to NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss, both automobiles exploded into flames after colliding head-on.
Travis Garcia, 19, Jackson Zinn, 22, Portugal native Tiago Sousa, 18, and Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico were the four golfers slain.
Tyler James, their 26-year-old coach, died, as did the driver of the pickup, Henrich Siemans, 38, and an unidentified 13-year-old boy who was with him.
A improvised tribute for the golfers can be seen near Hobbs, New Mexico’s Rockwind Community Links.
Dayton Price, 19, and Hayden Underhill, 20, both from Ontario, were gravely injured in the van and flown by air to the University Medical Center in Lubbock.
Drew Underhill, Underhill’s brother, claimed their parents, Ken and Wendy, were on a plane bound for Texas. “Golf is his actual passion,” he stated of his sibling.
The young golfers were competing in a tournament at Midland College, which is located about 315 miles west of Dallas.
Another squad member, Jasmin Collum, was set to play but decided at the last minute to visit her parents in Houston, according to her mother.
In a fundraiser for funeral expenses, Raines was recalled as a “lovely and gentle person.”
“We knew everyone on board,” Tonya Collum said. “Basically, the entire team is either gone or in the hospital.”