Most of you know that my daughter Erika runs for the Biola University cross country team. As a runner, she tends to know alot of other runners - locally and nationally - and when something happens to another team within our California section, it can be overwhelming. Not only are these students competitive athletes but they are friends - especially when you see the same people at all of the local meets.
Monday, the cross country team from Cal Baptist (in Riverside), was heading up to the mountains for some high altitude training when they were involved in a tragic accident. One of the team vans was hit by an SUV that had lost control, flipped on to them and that car burst in to flames.
We are praying for the team - no team members have died that we know of, but some have needed surgery. The driver of the Cal Baptist van did perish.
Please join us in prayer for this team. Below is an article off of the Cal Baptist web site.
(RIVERSIDE) -- The cheerleading coach of California Baptist University was killed and a dozen cross country team members were injured August 9 in a three-vehicle multiple-fatality accident on California Highway 395 near Bishop, CA.
Wendy Rice was driving one of three vans carrying CBU student athletes to a high altitude training camp in Mammoth. She died when the van was struck by an oncoming SUV that apparently ran out of control, overturned and burst into flames on impact.
California Highway Patrol Officer Dennis Cleland said five people in the SUV also were killed, but no one in the other two CBU vans was injured.
Officer Cleland said the collision occurred about five miles south of Bishop at 8:20 p.m. on a divided four-lane stretch of highway. He said 12 CBU student athletes in the van were injured and transported to area hospitals, but the extent of their injuries was unknown.
University officials contacted the families of all of the cross country team members to inform them about the accident.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event,” said University President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis. “We have lost a beloved member of our CBU family,” Ellis said. “On behalf of the university community, I want to express our deepest sympathy to Wendy’s husband and their two young children.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones in this terrible accident and with those who were injured,” Ellis said. “We pray for their speedy and complete recovery.”
Officials said a memorial service for the CBU community will be scheduled on the Riverside campus.
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LA MIRADA, Calif. --- The Biola University Athletic Department today is joining California Baptist University and the rest of the Golden State Athletic Conference in mourning the tragic loss of CBU Cheerleading Coach Wendy Rice in a traffic accident on Monday night.
Rice was among six people killed in the accident which also left 12 Cal Baptist student-athletes injured. Rice was driving one of three vans of Lancer athletes to high-altitude training in Mammoth when the accident occurred.
The Biola Athletic Department issued this statement earlier today: "Our thoughts and prayers are with California Baptist University, the Lancer athletic department and the entire Golden State Athletic Conference family during this incredibly difficult time."
Biola Cheer Advisor Tina Jasso said "We are so heavy hearted over this news! I only met Wendy a couple of times but was well aware of the outstanding progress she was making with the cheer program and overall in the realm of Christian cheerleading. She will be greatly missed!"
California Baptist University officials said a memorial service for the CBU community will be scheduled on the Riverside campus.