KIMBLE COUNTY, TX — A member of a Valley volleyball team has died and two others were seriously injured in a crash while traveling to Texas for a volleyball tournament.
ABC15 spoke to a team member who says the Venom Volleyball Club from Goodyear was going to Austin to compete in the Lone Star National Qualifier when the crash occurred.
The team left Feb. 3, but crashed in Kimble County, Texas, about 130 miles west of Austin, as a winter storm moved through.
One player, later identified as Alexa Cruz, was killed in the crash, and two other athletes who were injured remain in critical condition. Two parents suffered minor injuries and have since been discharged from the hospital, the team said.
“What has happened is such a tragedy,” said Jimmy Gonzalez, the owner of Venom Volleyball Club.
He says the accident happened Thursday night after some team members’ flights were canceled.
Gonzalez said a few players hit the road with their parents in an SUV to head to the tournament. Several hours later, he got a call from someone who witnessed the crash, between Junction and London in Texas.
“The road seemed to be clear, but apparently there was some black ice they hit, lost control…crossed over the median into oncoming traffic…went head-on with a semi,” Gonzalez told ABC15.
While he says the team will be grieving for a long time, Gonzalez is confident they will get through this tragedy together.
Members shared a GoFundMe page to help coaches and players return to the Valley.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and Kimble County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to requests for more information about the crash.
A candlelight vigil is set to take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, at Christ's Church of the Valley in Avondale.