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Three UW swimmers die in car crash on Thursday


CASPER, Wyo. — Three University of Wyoming swimmers died in a car crash just south of the Wyoming–Colorado border on Thursday afternoon, according to multiple reports from the University and other sources.

The crash occurred on US Highway 287 at 2:45 p.m., according to a news release from the University.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported the swimmers were 18, 19 and 21. Their names have not been released pending notification of kin.

Two other members of the men’s swim and dive team sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Coach Dave Dennison said his Cowgirls are “devastated.”

Dennison said his program will release more information about the situation as soon as the victims’ families have been notified, a task made more difficult by the fact that one of the victims is an international student.

UW President Ed Seidel said in a release, “We are heartsick at the news of this terrible tragedy for our university, our state, our student-athlete community and, most importantly, the families and friends of these young people. Words are insufficient to express our sadness.”

UW Director of Athletics Tom Burman said in a news release, “My thoughts and prayers are with our swimming and diving student-athletes, coaches, families and friends. It is difficult to lose members of our University of Wyoming family, and we mourn the loss of these student-athletes. We have counseling services available to our student-athletes and coaches in our time of need.”

Gov. Mark Gordon said in a news release, “I am heartbroken to learn of the tragic deaths of three University of Wyoming student athletes. Jennie and I join the entire university community and all of Wyoming in mourning this loss, and we ask you to keep their families, friends and loved ones close to your hearts during this difficult time.”

CBS News Colorado reported that the accident closed both directions of 287 Thursday afternoon. The Colorado State Patrol, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Department of Transportation are investigating the crash.

Students in need of support are encouraged to contact the University Counseling Center at (307) 766-2187. The Counseling Center is open Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is prepared to support students. Students can also call an after-hours crisis counselor at (307) 766-8989.

The Dean of Students Office at (307) 766-3296 also is available for any well-being support or academic assistance students may need.

UW employees may seek assistance through the Employee Assistance Program — specifically, MINES & Associates, at 1-800-873-7138.

This is a developing story. More information will be published when it is made available.