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New Mexico DB Markel Byrd Killed In Car Accident

(AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Markel Byrd, a 20-year-old defensive back for the University of New Mexico, tragically died in a single-car accident on Tuesday. The UNM football Twitter account released the news and details early this morning; Byrd and his girlfriend were traveling home for the holiday when their car suffered a tire blowout.

Both parties were ejected from the vehicle. Markel died instantly, and his passenger was taken to a local hospital.

“This is an absolute tragedy. Markel Byrd was an outstanding person and student-athlete and we will miss him,” said head coach Bob Davie in a statement. “I was with the family late Tuesday night and obviously they are devastated. Our thoughts and prayers go to them. Markel will forever be a member of our family.”

Memorial service and funeral arrangements are pending.

Byrd, who redshirted his first season on campus in 2013, played safety the past two years. He recorded 91 career tackles, four interceptions, four passes deflections, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. In 2015, he tied for the team lead in interceptions with three, and he was eighth on the team with 44 tackles.

New Mexico (7-6, 5-3 MWC) just played in its first bowl game (a 45-37 loss to Arizona) since 2007.

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