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Three Students Killed, One Injured in Accident at Sam Houston State

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HUNTSVILLE Three students from Sam Houston State University were killed in a single-vehicle accident on the campus early Saturday morning. A fourth student was injured.

According to the university, the rollover wreck happened near the intersection South Avenue I and the Bowers Blvd at around 4:50 a.m. The vehicle had rolled into the Academic IV building.

After notifying next of kin, the university released names of those killed:

- Blanca Espinal, 19 of Houston
- Eric Torres, 22 of San Juan
- Alfonso Mata, 20 of Brownsville

A third student was initially identified as the third deceased victim. However, Sam Houston State later retracted that name, telling a News 3 crew on the scene they had misidentified the person.

Thomas Roling, a 22-year-old listing as being from The Woodlands, was initially taken to Huntsville Memorial Hospital, but was later transferred to St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan for treatment. He was listed in good condition by the hospital early Saturday afternoon.

“Our Bearkat Family is deeply saddened by the loss of our students in this tragic accident," said Sam Houston State President Dana Gibson in a statement Saturday. "Our hearts go out to their family and friends during this difficult time.”

The accident, which is still under investigation, took place on graduation day. A moment of silence was held at the beginning of the event, which continued as scheduled, as did ACT testing.


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