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COLLEGE STATION, TX - Texas A&M redshirt freshman defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu was killed in a one-vehicle rollover accident onU.S. Highway 550 in Sandoval County in New Mexico on Monday, July 29 at 6:52p.m. mountain time.
According to the report from the New Mexico State Police, he was apassenger in a 2002 Toyota Sequoia traveling south on U.S. 550 and the vehicledrifted off of the roadway and the driver over corrected and the vehicle rolledseveral times. Manukainiu and another passenger, Andrew Uhatafe, were ejectedfrom the vehicle and deceased at the scene. Gaius Vaenuku, an incoming memberof the Utah football team, was transported from the scene of the accident butwas pronounced deceased in the ambulance. The driver and a fifth passenger weretransported to San Juan Regional Hospital after sustaining minor injuries.Alcohol was not involved and it appears the driver was the only one wearing aseat belt.
"We lost a terrific young man," Texas A&M head football coachKevin Sumlin said. "Polo was loved by his teammates and coaches. Anyone whocame in contact with him was struck by his sense of humor and smile. My heartaches for his mom and family members."
Manukainiu, 19, was a recreation,parks and tourism science major and he is survived by his mother, Lima Uhatafeof Euless. Manukainiu helped Trinity High School to an undefeated regularseason and the state playoffs in 2011 as an all-district defensive end and wasa four-star recruit according to ESPN.