Tragedy in Texas claims life of Portuguese golf prodigy

Tiago Sousa, Portuguese amateur, was returning from a tournament in the early hours of last Tuesday, when the van carrying the team had an accident in Andrews County, killing 6 players, the coach, and the 2 occupants of the other car involved in the incident, a 13 year old child and a man identified as 38-year-old Henrich Siemens.

The Portuguese Golf Federation, in the face of the tragic accident released the statement: “It was with deep sadness that the Portuguese Golf Federation became aware of the tragic car accident, which, last Tuesday night, killed seven members of the North American golf team at the University of Southwest, in New Mexico, among them the young Portuguese Tiago Sousa”.

Tiago Sousa was a player at the Quinta do Lago Association, in the Algarve, and in the last year, he entered the first year of his university course in the United States, where he combined his studies with golf.

He was a young man with a lot of talent, but “above all with a lovely personality and impeccable behavior, on and off the course”. 

Miguel Franco de Sousa sent the federation’s sincere condolences to the young player’s family and friends, while there will be a minute’s silence held in Tiago Sousa’s memory at every golf competition in the coming week.

A 13-year-old was at the wheel of the pickup truck that swerved in front of a van carrying the University of the Southwest’s men’s and women’s golf teams, killing nine people, including the underage driver, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Six members of the team and the head coach were killed in the crash. Two remain in critical condition at a Texas hospital.

In addition to the 13-year-old, a 38-year-old man, Henrich Siemens, was in the Dodge pickup. Both were killed, as well as the coach, Tyler James, and six golfers in the passenger van.

The players who died were identified as Maurico Sanchez, 19, of Mexico; Travis Garcia, 19, of Pleasanton, Texas; Jackson Zinn, 22, of Westminster, Colorado; Karissa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton, Texas; Laci Stone, 18, of Nocona, Texas; and Tiago Sousa, 18, of Portugal. The two passengers in the team van who survived the wreck, Dayton Price,19, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Hayden Underhill, 20, of Amherstview, Ontario, remain hospitalized as of Thursday in Lubbock, Texas, according to the University of the Southwest.