Utah football: Services set for Utah football player

By Lya Wodraska

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: August 1, 2013 02:59PM
Updated: February 14, 2014 11:31PM
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In this Oct. 21, 2011 photo, Trinity's junior defensive lineman Gaius Vaenuku (52) rushes Grapevine junior quarterback Brett Harbin (10) during a high school football game at Pennington Field in Bedford, TX. Texas A&M officials say freshman NCAA college football defensive lineman Polo Manukainiu died in a rollover crash, Monday, July 29, 2013, in New Mexico during a trip home from Utah. New Mexico State Police say Gaius Vaenuku, an incoming member of the Utah football team, also died after the wreck. Manukainiu was a 19-year-old redshirt freshman. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Brandon Wade)

Boosters from Trinity High School have established a memorial fund for the families of three people who were killed in a one-car accident Monday night in New Mexico.

Incoming Utah player Gaius “Keio” Vaenuku, Texas A&M player Polo Manukainiu, and Lolo Uhatafe, the 13-year-old brother of incoming Utah freshman Salesi Uhatafe, all died in the accident.

Salesi Uhatafe, who is Manukainiu’s stepbrother, and his father, Salesi Sr., survived the crash.

Vaenuku, Manukainiu and Uhatafe all played for Trinity High School, located in Euless, Texas.

The memorial fund is called “The Polo, Gaius and Lolo Memorial Fund.” Donations can be mailed to the First Bank Texas (4201 Airport Freeway, Bedford, Texas 76201) or by electronic deposit (routing number 111304912).

Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham and assistants Morgan Scalley, Kalani Sitake, Ilaisa Tuiaki and Sharrieff Shah are flying to Texas on Friday to attend Vaenuku’s funeral services, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Colleyville Stake Center.

Trinity High has been a popular recruiting stop for the Utes, who have signed offensive lineman Sam Tevi, offensive lineman Hiva Lutui and defensive lineman LT Tuipulotu from the school.