Utah Accident Kills Two Kansas Wesleyan Soccer Players

Utah Accident Kills Two Kansas Wesleyan Soccer PlayersKansas Wesleyan University lost two of its soccer players in a car accident on Interstate 70 in eastern Utah, and now the school is mourning the loss and attempting to carry on, NBC affiliate KSN 3 reports.

The Kansas Wesleyan men's soccer team had a successful finish in 2010, and were expecting to have yet another successful season in 2011 with an impressive cast of stars leading the team. That was before teammates learned that two of their fellow players had been killed, and another injured, in a car accident that took place over the weekend of August 12, according to the news source.

Teammates Carlos Ornelas, 21, and Eddie Valencia, 20, were killed while driving to Kansas on Interstate 70 when they allegedly lost control of the truck they were driving and rolled several times.

According to the Contra Costa Times, the men were driving a Chevy Silverado when they veered off the left side of the highway in the eastbound lanes, where they allegedly crashed into the median. Ornelas and Valencia had to be airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, where Ornelas was pronounced dead on arrival and Valenica died a short time later.

A third passenger, Briant Reyes, suffered only minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.

"It's been very difficult," Coach Benny Artiaga told the news provider on Monday, August 15. "Our sophomores are in a really bad emotional state."

Ornelas was set to begin his third season as a defender, while Valencia was a first-team all conference player by his sophomore year, the Times stated.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, there were 51,367 reported traffic crashes in the state in 2009.