Sunday, July 21, 2024


Earlier this afternoon Sam Houston State University released the names of the dead and injured of this mornings triple fatal crash on the campus of Sam Houston State University. When they released the names they did not match what MCPR was given by law enforcement officers. Law Enforcement requested the names be held until all families were notified, which we did.

After the names were released by the University we checked to verify they were correct and were informed they were in fact not the correct names and notifications were still being made.

A short time ago Law Enforcement Officials gave the go ahead to release the names of the students.

They are identified as:

Blanca Espinal, age 19 of Houston, who was the driver.

Eric Torres, 22 of San Juan

Thomas Roling, 22 of  The Woodlands.

The family of the fourth person has not been released and not being identified at this time.

Roling’s parents and brother stopped at the scene late this morning as their son was being transferred from Huntsville Memorial Hospital to St. Joseph Trauma Center in Bryan. They said their son had been the right front seat passenger in the car and after locating his seat belt while upside down was able to crawl out. He suffers a head and leg injury but is listed in good condition.


With graduations and ACT testing taking place Saturday, the campus was experiencing heavy traffic and the scene was cleared fairly quickly.

SHSU President Dana Gibson issued the following statement: “Our Bearkat Family is deeply saddened by the loss of our students in this tragic accident. Our hearts go out to their family and friends during this difficult time.”

The vehicle left the roadway, hit an illumination lamp post breaking it off, ripping through the handrail of a walkway and became airborne. It landed at a forty five degree angle against the Academic IV Building on Avenue I.

The particular intersection has straight roadway but then abruptly veers right at close to a sixty five degree angle at the intersection.

Skid marks at the scene were painted but Law Enforcement later found they actually started well before the intersection and we not visible as dampness was still on the roadway.

We will update with the fourth name when law enforcement makes the notifications.


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