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Rice University Student Killed In Crash

One Rice University student is dead Tuesday and five are injured after an highway traffic accident late Monday night. A pickup truck crashed into a van carrying members of the Rice University Forensics team, returning from a debate and public speaking competition in Omaha, Neb.

There are conflicting reports about how the accident occurred. According to CBS station KHOU and a member of the Harris County Sheriff's Department, the van and all other cars in the vicinity were at or near a complete stop due to a construction zone.

The pick-up truck apparently did not slow down as it approached. Police say it crashed into the back of the student's van at a high rate of speed. This forced the van forward into a second van carrying the remainder of the team.

According to KHOU, the dead student is a 19-year old freshman from the Chicago, Illinois suburb of Vernon Hills. His identity is being withheld pending the notification of his family. Two other students have been airlifted to Houston's Hermann Hospital. Three others have been taken to Northeast Medical Center. According to KHOU, at least one of the injured has a broken leg.

The accident occurred just north of Houston on Interstate 45. A memorial was planned at noon at the university in Houston, Shepard said.