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U of U Football Player Killed in Auto Accident

A University of Utah freshman football player was among three teens killed early Tuesday morning, in a rollover accident outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Defensive lineman Gaius Vaenuku died in the crash, while Utah teammate Salesi Uhatafe was hospitalized with minor injuries. The incoming freshmen -- to the U of U program -- were high school teammates in Texas. They were headed home for a break, before the Utes open training camp, Monday.

Uhatafe’s stepbrother Polo Manukainiu, a Texas A&M football player, and 13-year-old brother Lolo Uhatafe were also killed. Uhatafe’s father survived the accident.

Police are continuing to investigate, but say fatigue likely played a role in the accident.  They say the vehicle rolled, when the driver overcorrected.

 

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