Wayland Mourns Student Deaths

PLAINVIEW -- The Wayland Baptist University community is mourning the death of three of their students today as a result of an early afternoon automobile accident in Floyd County.

“We are so devastated by this terrible loss of life,” WBU President, Dr. Bobby Hall said. “Our Wayland family, including our Board of Trustees, are praying for the families of these students. We grieve with them and we pray for peace and comfort during these unimaginable circumstances.” ­

Brian Anderson, a recent graduate from Lancaster California; Christian Orozco, a junior from Fort Worth, Texas; and Elena Vazquez, a sophomore from Houston were all killed in a two vehicle collision Saturday afternoon. All three students were current or past members of Wayland’s wrestling program.

Brian graduated from Wayland in May with a fitness management degree and was planning on pursuing a Master’s in Education at Wayland this fall.

Christian, a pre-engineering major, who sat out last season, was expected to return to Wayland this fall.

Elena arrived on the Wayland campus this past fall for both track and wrestling, but soon shifted to wrestling and had become an active member of the program. She was pursuing a degree in chemistry.

WBU Wrestling coach Kiiler Stephens said all three were good friends and well-liked by the team.

“All three were just beautiful, amazing people,” he said. “We are deeply saddened and my heart goes out to their families and their friends.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of our students who we lost today,” said Dr. Claude Lusk, Sr. Vice President of Operations and Student Life. “Words fall short of describing what these families are experiencing.  Words also fall short of the grace, peace and comfort that we will be asking our Heavenly Father to shower on these families. We ask that you keep these students and their family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”

Wayland’s Campus Minister, the Baptist Student Ministry director, and counselors will be available on campus at the Jimmy Dean Hall lobby Saturday evening at 9:30pm for students or employees.

Lusk added that because so many of our students are on summer break, the university will also provide professional counseling for WBU students and classmates through their 24/7 online TimelyMD Care program.