Texas A&M Football Player Driving Back to Dallas Killed in Car Crash
Posted on Aug 17, 2013
A one-vehicle rollover car crash in New Mexico recently killed Texas A&M defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu,19, and Utah defensive lineman Gaius "Keio" Vaenuku, 18. They were heading back to suburban Dallas at the time.
State police say it appears that the 2002 Toyota Sequoia was driving southbound on U.S. Highway 550 just north of Cuba when the vehicle drifted off the road to the passenger side. The driver overcorrected which caused him to lose control of the vehicle and roll several times. Two passengers were thrown out of the vehicle.
Manukainiu and Vaenuku, both passengers, were "declared deceased upon arrival of officers." A 13-year-old passenger, Andrew Uhatafe, was also killed. The two survivors were Utah freshman offensive tackle Siaosi Uhatafe and his father, Salesi Sr. Siaosi Uhatafe. It is not clear who the driver was, but they were the only one in the car wearing a seat belt.
Manukainiu played football at Trinity High School in Euless, west of Dallas, and was part of the Aggies' 2012 signing class.
"We lost a terrific young man," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. "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."
This is the second car crash-related tragedy for Texas A&M in less than two years. In December 2011, senior offense lineman Joseph Villavisencio was killed in a trucking collision about 40 miles from College Station.
Our law firm offers sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this tragic car crash.