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New Mexico football: Lobo Safety Markel Byrd killed in car accident

The sophomore safety was involved in a fatal one car accident Tuesday while heading home for the holidays.

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

It's often hard to know what to say or do when tragedy occurs; the feeling of losing a loved one often leaves a numb feeling. Its unfortunate as the New Mexico Lobos family was dealt a blew Tuesday when sophomore safety Markel Byrd was involved in a single car accident.

Byrd who was a standout at Horizon Christian Academy in San Diego who played both defensive back and quarterback was headed home for the holidays when his vehicle suffered a blow out near Gallup, New Mexico. Byrd and his passenger were both ejected from the car, Byrd died instantly while his girlfriend is in critical condition.

Bob Davie released a statement:

"This is an absolute tragedy.  Markel Byrd was an outstanding person and student-athlete and we will miss him,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."

Byrd was a redshirt sophomore was a significant part of the Lobos defense this past season and will be remembered for his game saving tackle against Boise State a victory that clinched the Lobos first Bowl bid in eight years. In that game he had a career high 11 tackles and one interception.

During his sophomore campaign he recorded 44 tackles and was tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Byrd who recorded three tackles during the Gildan New Mexico Bowl was driving home for the holidays when the accident occurred, he will be missed by his teammates and members of Lobo Nation.

Rest in peace #22 gonna miss you man