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University of Saint Mary student killed, another injured in crash during return from college bowl game

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Posted at 2:11 PM, Jan 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 14:23:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A University of Saint Mary football player was killed and another critically injured Monday morning in Oklahoma as they traveled back from a bowl game.

The Leavenworth-based university tweeted that Justin White, 25, died in the crash. White’s classmate, Hennessy Thomas, who was also in the car involved in the crash, received critical injuries.

The pair were coming back from the Podyum Bowl in Miami Beach, Florida, where they played in front of NFL scouts.

Local NBC/ABC affiliate KTEN-TV reports the crash happened around 2:45 a.m. on Interstate 35 south of Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says White was driving a Chevrolet Trax heading northbound at the time of the crash.

The school said White was originally from Jackson, Mississippi. Thomas, who was taken by air ambulance to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City, is from Rayville, Louisiana.

The school says White was a sports management major and was an offensive lineman for the Saint Mary Spires football team.

The University of Saint Mary provided the following statement to KSHB 41:

We were deeply saddened to hear of the loss of one of our own. Justin was an amazing young man with such a bright future, and for this tragedy to occur is not easy for anyone who knew him to comprehend. His big smile and his courageous character will be missed.

Our prayers are first and foremost with Justin’s family, friends, teammates, and coaches. Being a father myself I cannot imagine the pain.

We also continue to pray for God's grace of healing for our beloved brother Hennessy Thomas—and we look forward to seeing him soon.

Our USM community welcomes thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.