Crash kills Texas A&M freshman lineman, Utah teen

Associated Press
In this Oct. 21, 2011 photo, Trinity's junior defensive lineman Gaius Vaenuku (52) rushes Grapevine junior quarterback Brett Harbin (10) during a high school football game at Pennington Field in Bedford, TX. Texas A&M officials say freshman NCAA college football defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu died in a rollover crash, Monday, July 29, 2013, in New Mexico during a trip home from Utah. New Mexico State Police say Gaius Vaenuku, an incoming member of the Utah football team, also died after the wreck. Manukainiu was a 19-year-old redshirt freshman. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Brandon Wade) MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST);
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In this Oct. 21, 2011 photo, Trinity's junior defensive lineman Gaius Vaenuku (52) rushes Grapevine junior …

Authorities say an 18-year-old man was the driver in a single-car crash that killed Texas A&M freshman football player Polo Manukainiu (mah-NOO'-ky-uh-noo) and a friend who was joining the Utah football team this fall.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Emmanuel Gutierrez says Siaosi Salesi Uhatafe (oo-ha-tah-feh) Jr. crashed the SUV he was driving late Monday when he over-corrected the vehicle. It rolled several times near the town of Cuba, in northern New Mexico.

The crash killed three passengers: 19-year-old Manukainiu, 13-year-old Andrew Uhatafe and 18-year-old Gaius Vaenuku, who was joining the Utes this season.

Authorities says the driver was the only one wearing his seat belt. He and his father, Salesi Uhatafe, suffered minor injuries and were the only survivors.

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