Texas A&M lineman dies in crash - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Texas A&M lineman dies in crash

Polo Manukainiu (Source: Texas A&M Athletics) Polo Manukainiu (Source: Texas A&M Athletics)
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ALBUQUERQUE, NA (WAFB) -

Texas A&M officials announced Tuesday that 19-year-old redshirt freshman defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu has died in a rollover crash in New Mexico.
     
The accident occurred on U.S. 550 in Sandoval County.

According to the report from the New Mexico State Police, Manukainiu was a passenger in a 2002 Toyota Sequoia traveling south on U.S. 550 and the vehicle drifted off of the roadway, the driver over corrected and the vehicle rolled several times.

Manukainiu and another passenger, Andrew Uhatafe, were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

State Police say Gaius Vaenuku, an incoming member of the Utah football team, also died after the wreck. Vaenuku was transported from the scene of the accident but was pronounced deceased in the ambulance.

"We lost a terrific young man," Texas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin said. "Polo was loved by his teammates and coaches. Anyone who came in contact with him was struck by his sense of humor and smile. My heart aches for his mom and family members."
    
The driver and a fifth passenger were transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

Alcohol was not involved and it appears the driver was the only one wearing a seat belt.

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