Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in a car crash Tuesday near Amarillo that killed TCU alumnus Julian Arredondo and 4 others.
Arredondo, a 2011 graduate, was a performer in the show “Texas,” a musical put on by the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation that depicts the life of Texas Panhandle settlers in the 1800s.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Christopher Ray said the vehicle turned onto U.S. 287 about 40 miles north of Amarillo and was struck by a southbound 18-wheeler. The group was driving from an end-of-the-year party.
Harry Parker, TCU’s chair of the theatre department, taught Arredondo in several classes and said he was overwhelmed this morning when he heard the news.
“He was hardworking, very earnest and very genuine in his desire to improve and get better,” Parker said.
TCU graduate Alisan Heath said Arredondo was one of the most friendly, positive people she knew.
“If you were ever sad or going through a tough time, he always knew exactly how to lift your spirits and put a smile on your face,” Heath said. “He was truly one of a kind.”
Also killed in the wreck were Eric Harrison of Fort Worth; Andrew Duncan of Wichita Falls; Clinton Diaz of Amarillo; and Amanda Starz of Timonium, Md., Ray said. All five were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.