College Basketball Team in Deadly Accident

(Paris-AP) -- Two Navarro College basketball players are dead and five other players and two coaches are hospitalized after an 18-wheeler slammed into a team van overnight.

The accident happened in the Northeast Texas town of Paris as two Navarro team vans were heading home to Corsicana after a game at Paris Junior College. Police say they believe the van drivers missed their turns and were making U-turns to backtrack when the tractor-trailer rig broadsided the trailing van.

Police identified the two dead players as 21-year-old player Pah Sarr of the West African nation of Gambia and 18-year-old freshman point guard Jason Rashard Trier of Giddings. Two players were airlifted to Dallas hospitals. Freshman point guard Chris Gonzales of Chicago is listed in critical condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Sophomore center Elijah Coppock of Columbus, Georgia, is in serious condition at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Coach Lewis Orr, graduate assistant coach Bilal Batley and freshman forward-center Roberto Flores of Durango, Mexico, are in serious condition at Paris Regional Medical Center. and two others are in fair condition at Paris Regional Medical Center.

Police now say Batley was driving the van when it was hit. They had earlier reported that Orr was at the wheel.


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