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New Mexico Safety Markel Byrd Dies in Car Accident

20-year-old safety Markel Byrd's life is taken too soon in a tragic car accident.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post, especially on Christmas eve. New Mexico safety Markel Byrd was driving home to San Diego for the holidays to be with his family on Tuesday. Unfortunately, his car had a tire blowout that ejected both him and his girlfriend from the vehicle. This occurred near Gallup, New Mexico which is approximately two hours west of Albuquerque. Brown died instantly. His girlfriend is in critical condition.

Byrd had 44 tackles this past season to go along with three interceptions. He was an integral piece of New Mexico's secondary. In his two seasons playing with New Mexico, he totaled 91 tackles.

This is obviously devastating news for Byrd's friends and family and bigger than New Mexico football. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, especially through the holiday season. It is always a tragedy to lose someone too soon and Byrd certainly falls into that category: head coach Bob Davie described him as "an outstanding person and student-athlete."

We also wish a speedy recovery for his girlfriend.