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San Diego football star killed in wreck

Posted: 8:24 AM, Dec 23, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-23 21:46:59Z
SAN DIEGO – A San Diego native and football player for the University of New Mexico Lobos was killed in a crash Tuesday afternoon. 
 
Twenty-year-old Markel Byrd, a sophomore safety, died Tuesday near Gallup, New Mexico, while driving home with his girlfriend. Their car suffered a tire blowout on Interstate 40 and both were ejected, the school reported. 
Byrd, who was driving, died at the scene. His girlfriend is in critical condition at a local hospital. 
 
"This is an absolute tragedy,” head coach Bob Davie said in a statement. “Markel Byrd was an outstanding person and student-athlete and we will miss him. I was with the family late Tuesday night and obviously they are devastated.  Our thoughts and prayers go to them.  Markel will forever be a member of our family."
 
Byrd was a prep standout at Horizon Christian Academy in San Diego, where he played quarterback and defensive back.
 
He redshirted in 2013 at New Mexico, but played safety the last two seasons.