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'Unspeakable tragedy' strikes Texas A&M-Commerce women's basketball program

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Texas A&M Commerce women's basketball team photo 2013-14
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Texas A&M Commerce women's basketball team photo 2013-14

Two members of the Texas A&M-Commerce women's basketball team were killed and two others were seriously injured Tuesday in a two-vehicle accident in Paris, Texas.

Aubree Butts, a 20-year-old sophomore from Lewisville, Texas, and Devin Oliver, a 21-year-old junior from Rowlett, Texas, died when the 2007 Nissan Maxima the four women were in was hit in the intersection of Loop 286 and FM 1497 by a tractor trailer. The two women who lost their lives were passengers in the car, FoxDFW.com reported.

Police are investigating what caused the accident but do not believe speed or alcohol were factors, according to multiple reports. The car was knocked off the road into a grassy area adjacent to the intersection, according to a section of the police report published by the Dallas Morning News. The driver of the truck was not hurt. FoxDFW.com reported the intersection, which is controlled by stop signs and flashing lights, has been the site of four other deadly accidents since 2000.

La'Tisha Hearne, a 21-year-old junior from Richardson, Texas, and 19-year-old sophomore Zenobia Winbush, were initially listed in critical condition but have since been released from the hospital, The school reported the four women were on their way to Paris High School to watch a summer league basketball game.

“This is an unspeakable tragedy and a loss that is felt by the entire university community, made more grievous by the dreams that will not be fulfilled. Our prayers go out to the loved ones of those we have lost,” Texas A&M-Commerce President Dan R. Jones said in a statement.

The school lowered flags on campus to half staff on Wednesday and a candlelight vigil was planned at 9 p.m. in Rachel's Garden on campus.

A press release issued by the school noted that all four women in the accident hold leadership positions on campus in areas outside of athletics.

“We continue to mourn the loss of two wonderful individuals,” Texas A&M-Commerce Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said in a statement. “Accidents like this are never easy for anyone involved, and we continue to pray and console everyone who has been touched by these wonderful people.  The outpouring of love and support from colleagues and athletic departments from around the country is nothing short of amazing.  We continue to ask for everyone’s thoughts and prayers during this time of need.”

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[Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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