Sept. 16, 2001 - Eight University of Wyoming students were killed and one was injured in an early morning two-vehicle collision 17 miles south of Laramie on U.S. 287 near Tie Siding.

The dead are Justin M. Lambert-Belanger, 20, Timmins, Ontario; Cody B. Brown, 21, Hudson, Colo.; Kyle N. Johnson, 20, Riverton, Wyo.; Joshua D. Jones, 22, Salem, Ore.; Morgan J. McLeland, 21, Gillette, Wyo.; Kevin L. Salverson, 19, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Nicholas J. Schabron, 20, Laramie, Wyo.; and Shane E. Shatto, 19, Douglas, Wyo. (Link to memorial Web site)

The injured student is Clinton G. Haskins, 21, Maybell, Colo. At the time of this release, Haskins was in intensive care at Ivinson Memorial Hospital.

According to Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) reports, the eight fatalities were traveling north on U.S. 287 in a Jeep Wagoneer; Haskins was traveling south in a Chevrolet one-ton pickup truck; the two vehicles collided at approximately 1:30 a.m. The accident remains under investigation, with no other details currently available.

"The loss of eight students and the critical injury of a ninth is a terrible blow to the University of Wyoming community," says UW President Philip L. Dubois. "Today's tragedy has struck close to home. These were people we knew, whose families we know, members of the University of Wyoming family -- young men who showed great promise for the future.

"In deepest sorrow I offer my condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this horrible accident and pledge our support for them," continues Dubois.

UW intercollegiate athletics records list the fatalities as members of the UW cross country and track teams. The student-athletes were traveling in a private vehicle and not as part of a team activity. Haskins has been a member of the UW Rodeo Club, which has not yet started its season.

�We were deeply saddened today when we were informed that eight members of our men�s cross country and track teams died in an early-morning car accident,� says UW Athletics Director Lee Moon. �Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these eight fine young men. We share in their grief.

�These young men were such great ambassadors for our athletic department and our university, and it is so hard to realize that they are gone. We cannot fully express our feelings in words at a time like this. We want to make sure that we do everything we can to support the families and to provide support to all our student-athletes and coaches at this tragic time. The Wyoming Athletic family is a very close-knit group. We will need to rely on the strength of each other to get through this tragedy.�

University Counseling Center professionals will be available to assist students at Washakie Center beginning 9 p.m. tonight (Sunday). The center encourages members of the faculty, staff, and student body to seek counseling support by calling 766-2187; counseling for student-athletes also is available from Athletics Counseling (766-5385).

The Campus Newman Center, in its 5 p.m. mass, will include prayers for the victims of this morning�s accident. The university will make known plans for a memorial service as soon as those plans are developed.

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