Tennis Team’s Van Crashes; One Player Killed
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) _ A van carrying a university tennis team ran off the interstate and crashed early today, killing one player and injuring the eight other people on board.
Authorities said a member of the men’s tennis team from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., died in the 1 a.m. crash on Interstate 59. The names of the dead and injured were not immediately released.
Police Sgt. Brett Alexander said it appeared two of the eight injured were critically hurt. The van was driven by an assistant coach, said team coach Cid Carvalho, who was riding in a second van.
″The investigation is not complete but it appeared the van went off the road, came back on and then ran off again,″ Alexander said. The van crashed into a backhoe at a construction site.
The team was on its way from a match at Tulane University in New Orleans to another scheduled for today at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said Jack Frost, Winthrop sports information director.
He confirmed that eight players were on the van - one American and seven from out of the country. The second van, not involved in the accident, was transporting the university’s women’s team as well as Carvalho.
″We’re trying to piece everything together,″ Frost said.