TAMUC coach on players killed in crash: "Amazing young women with bright futures ahead of them"

TAMUC coach on players killed in crash: "Amazing young women with bright futures ahead of them"

COMMERCE (KYTX) -- Two star basketball players for Texas A&M University Commerce were killed in a wreck Tuesday evening in nearby Paris, TX. Junior Aubree Butts and senior Devin Oliver were killed when the car they were riding in ran into an 18-wheeler.

Butts and and Oliver were with in the car with two team mates coming back from watching a local high school summer game. Police said the car pulled out into a highway intersection and straight into the 18-wheeler's path.

Bill Jones drives through that area daily and came upon the aftermath of the wreck Tuesday night.

"[They didn't have a] chance in the world," he said. "I didn't see, when they said there was four girls, how two girls got out alive."

Jones said he has seen too many deadly crashes at the intersection where Butts and Oliver were killed. There are four additional fatal wrecks on record at that intersection since 2000.

"This is really too many people killed here," he said. "There's something wrong."

Back on campus there's a question mark--a hole that now hovers over the lockers of two players the team hadn't planned on doing without.

"I think they're hurting right now," TAMUC Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said. "I think they certainly don't understand. I think they're taking time to really celebrate the lives of two great young women who were on their way to becoming great people."

In that locker room there's a new team photo. It shows Butts and Oliver standing together, not long before the crash.

"Both of them are just amazing young women that had bright futures ahead of them," TAMUC Womens Basketball Coach Jason Burton said. "There's no manual. There's no book on how to encounter this or how to handle this situation. The thing you do is just be there for these girls."

As the team and the families involved look for answers, investigators said the wreck itself may have been preventable.

"We asked TxDOT to look at [that intersection] a long time ago," Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said. "They've made some recommendations of what they're going to try to do, but it hasn't been put in place yet."

Hundley confirmed that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

There was a candlelight vigil for Butts and Oliver on the TAMUC campus at 9:00pm Wednesday.

Their teammates, Latisha Hearne and Zeonbia Bush, had non-life threatening injuries.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment