Dad of fatal Texas crash victim calls it a ‘terrible nightmare’

Dad of fatal Texas crash victim calls it a 'terrible nightmare'

The father of one of the college golfers who was among nine killed in a horrific head-on crash in Texas said Thursday that he keeps expecting to wake from “this terrible nightmare.”

Karisa Raines, 21, was one of six University of the Southwest students killed alongside their coach Tuesday when their team bus crashed with a pickup, also killing the driver and a 13-year-old boy with him. Two Canadian students were airlifted to a hospital in critical condition.

“We are praying so much for the families of all those other kids,” Raines’ dad, Gary, told the “Today” show.

“Right now we just keep thinking we’re gonna wake up from this terrible nightmare. But it’s not happening.”

Raines’ grieving mom, Sandy, is also grappling with the sudden loss.

“Karisa was my baby,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”

The parents of Karisa Raines, Sandy and Gary,  mourn her loss
The parents of Karisa Raines, Sandy and Gary, are struggling after the loss of their daughter.

As of Thursday morning, nearly $11,250 had been raised for the family, more than the $7,000 they sought to cover funeral expenses.

“Karisa was such a beautiful and kind soul who will be deeply missed by everyone,” the fundraiser said.

Tiago Sousa, Karissa Raines (center), Laci Stone, Mauricio Sanchez, Jackson Zinn and Travis Garcia all died in the crash.
Tiago Sousa, Karissa Raines (center), Laci Stone, Mauricio Sanchez, Jackson Zinn and Travis Garcia all died in the crash.
The University of the Southwest

The mother of one of the other golfers killed — Laci Stone, 18 — said her daughter had been “an absolute ray of sunshine during this short time on earth.”

“We will never be the same after this and we just don’t understand how this happened to our amazing, beautiful, smart, joyful girl,” Chelsi Stone said in a Facebook post.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending an investigative team to the crash site in Texas’ Andrews County, about 30 miles east of the New Mexico state line.

The golf team was traveling in a 2017 Ford Transit van that was towing a box trailer when it collided with a 2007 Dodge 2500 pickup that crossed into the opposite lane on a darkened, two-lane highway.

Tyler James
Coach Tyler James also died in the crash.
ETBU Athletic Communications via AP

Both vehicles burst into flames after crashing head-on, according to NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.

The other golfers killed were identified as Travis Garcia, 19, Jackson Zinn, 22, Portugal native Tiago Sousa, 18, and Mauricio Sanchez, 19, of Mexico.

Their 26-year-old coach, Tyler James, also died as did the driver of the pickup, Henrich Siemans, 38, and an unidentified 13-year-old boy who was with him.

Rockwind Community Links, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Hobbs, New Mexico
A makeshift memorial for the golfers is seen at the Rockwind Community Links, in Hobbs, New Mexico.
John Locher/AP

Two Canadian students in the van — Dayton Price, 19, and Hayden Underhill, 20, both from Ontario — were critically injured and rushed by helicopter to the University Medical Center in Lubbock.

Underhill’s brother Drew said their parents, Ken and Wendy, were on a plane headed to Texas. “His true passion is golf,” he said of his brother.

The young golfers had been taking part in a golf tournament at Midland College, about 315 miles west of Dallas.

Another team member, Jasmin Collum, had been scheduled to play — but at the last minute decided instead to visit her parents in Houston, her mother said.

Karisa Raines
Raines was remembered as a “beautiful and kind soul” in a fundraiser for funeral expenses.

“We knew all those people on board,” Tonya Collum said. “Basically the whole team is gone or in the hospital.”

With Post wires

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