Late last night, shortly before embarking on a trip from Utah to Texas with Utah freshman football player Gaius Vaenuku, another passenger named Andrew Uhatafe, and two other unnamed passengers, Texas A&M freshman Polo Manukainiu sent out this tweet:
22 hour drive back to Texas on no sleep. Oh my— Polo Manukainiu (@ManukainiuPolo) July 29, 2013
Unfortunately, it would be one of the last tweets he would ever send. A short time later, the five men were involved in a one-car accident on U.S. Highway 550 in New Mexico that resulted in the deaths of Manukainiu, Vaenuku, and Uhatafe. According to a police report, the accident took place after the 2002 Toyota Sequoia that the men were driving in veered off the road, tipped over, and then rolled several times. It ejected Manukainiu and Uhatafe from the vehicle, killing them instantly. And Vaenuku was rushed to the hospital after medics arrived but was pronounced dead a short time later.
"We lost a terrific young man," Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said in a statement released earlier today. "Polo was loved by his teammates and coaches. Anyone who came in contact with him was struck by his sense of humor and smile. My heart aches for his mom and family members."
R.I.P. to all three men who lost their lives in the tragic accident.
[via Sports Illustrated]