By BRAD KEITH
Contributions from TRAVIS SMITH
STEPHENVILLE (May 7, 2015) — The Tarleton State football team should have spent Thursday evening celebrating the end of the semester. Instead they are mourning the loss of one of their own, and grateful another is expected to make a full recovery.
Christain Champine, 20, was killed and Malik Brown, 19, was taken by air ambulance after they were involved in a tragic traffic accident in the Buffalo area Thursday evening.
“My heart is broken for our football team that has already been through so much,” said Tarleton athletic director Lonn Reisman late Thursday night. “On behalf of our entire athletics department and university, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the Champine family.”
Brown suffered three broken ribs, bruised lungs and required surgery to reattach part of an ear, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Both Texans are freshmen from Huntsville and both celebrated birthdays just last month before completing spring classes at Tarleton this week. Champine, the son of Willie and Sheryl Champine, was a business management major, while Brown, the son of Charlotte Brown, is majoring in criminal justice.
The accident rocks a Tarleton football program all too familiar with tragedy. Camron Owens, 21, was found unresponsive in his dorm room and later pronounced dead on January 13, after transferring to Tarleton from Cisco College at mid-term. Longtime director of football operations Cheryl Spellmeier was killed in a car accident last summer, just weeks before the Texans reported for preseason camp.