MIDLAND, Texas — So many people have been touched by the tragic University of the Southwest van crash in some way. Friends and family are left with only memories of the victims, memories they were kind enough to share with us.
Gone but never forgotten, Tiago Sousa was the youngest of those lost at only 18 years old. He came to New Mexico all the way from Portugal to do what he loved, play golf.
Mauricio Sanchez, 19, made his mark in the united states and in Mexico. A post from the Mexican Golf Federation stated, "The Mexican Golf Federation mourns the sensitive passing of Mauricio Sánchez López, a member of the University of the Southwest golf team and the Pulgas Pandas Golf Club, we extend our deepest condolences to family and friends."
Jackson Zinn, 22, from Colorado, is remembered as a sweet-natured person who worked as a volunteer coaching special needs children, according to a Facebook post.
USW Van Occupants
Travis Garcia, 19, was from Pleasanton, Texas. In an interview after the Pleasanton boy’s golf team won the District 27-4A tournament to qualify for regionals in 2021, he told Sam Fowler at the Pleasanton Express, "I'm glad to go places as a team and as an individual, and you know Matt, Reid, Brady, Jake, all them did a really good job and I hope we have a good run at regionals."
Laci Stone, 18, had a smile that would light up the room and a heart the size of Texas. "She was the life of the party, she loved to sing. She was always having the best time. That’s what we’re going to miss the most is just her smile," said her mom, Chelsi Stone.
Karisa Raines, 21, from Fort Stockton, was a fun-loving friend who loved golf, her family and God. "I always tell people that if her and Tiger Woods were to play against each other, I think Karisa would beat him," said Erin Chavez, a friend of Raines.
Tyler James, was a fearless leader and head coach of the University of the Southwest golf team at only 26 years old.
38-year-old Henrich Siemens, from Seminole, and a his 13-year-old son also died. We are currently trying to contact their loved ones for photos and information.