Tragedy strikes UNM football team

Markel Byrd

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Sad news for University of New Mexico Lobo fans as Head Coach Bob Davie announced the death of one of his players.

“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we have to announce that Tuesday afternoon we lost a member of our Lobo family.” That was the first tweet sent out early Wednesday morning about sophomore, Markel Byrd’s tragic death.

Markel Byrd, 20, was killed in a single car accident Tuesday afternoon near Gallup as he was driving home for the holidays with his girlfriend.

Markel Byrd
Markel Byrd

According to officials, Byrd was driving home to San Diego for the holidays with his girlfriend on Tuesday when their car sustained a blowout on I-40. Both Byrd and his girlfriend were thrown out of the car. Byrd died instantly. At last check, his girlfriend is in the hospital and her condition is critical.

The team is rallying in support of the Lobo athlete with the New Mexico football twitter page flooded with tributes and pictures of Byrd.

In a tweet sent out by Coach Davie, he says “Markel Byrd was an outstanding person and student-athlete and we will miss him.” He adds “Markel will forever be a member of our family.”

Coach Davie said he was with Byrd’s family late Tuesday night and says the family is devastated.

Byrd, who redshirted in 2013, tied for the team lead in interceptions this year.

A memorial service is being planned.

GoFundMe accounts have been started for Byrd and his girlfriend.

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