A Snow College football player died late Sunday in a one-car crash, officials said.
Mafatini Taimane-Laititi Mafatini died from the injuries he suffered in the wreck, according to a statement released Monday by the central Utah school. Before joining the Badgers as an offensive lineman, Snow College freshman Mafatini had played football in Maui, Hawaii.
The Ephraim City Police Department also confirmed the player’s death. Few details of the crash have been released — just that it occurred on 100 North.
“We are extremely saddened by the news of Mafitini’s passing,” said Snow College head football Coach Zac Erekson in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family back in Maui. Mafitini was such a bright light in this world. His smile and infectious laugh will be missed not only by our team, but by all those who knew him.”
Snow College, a state school with about 3,300 full-time and 2,200 part-time students, noted that a support team “has been assembled to help friends and teammates.”
At about 2 a.m. Monday, the Badgers’ defensive coordinator, Jan Jorgensen, said in a Twitter post: “It’s nights like tonight when you realize football means very little and, at the same time, means everything.”
Snow students and players also have expressed on social media their sorrow over Mafatini’s death. Students planned a Monday evening vigil in memory of Mafatini, which was slated to begin at 8 p.m. on the Robert Stoddard Football Field.
— Tribune reporter Kolbie Peterson contributed to this story.