Death seldom makes sense. There are instances when suffering is halted by death, yet even then a wealth of experience and knowledge passes with the person. Above all else, premature death is excruciating and incomprehensible, which accurately describes the emotions being experienced today by the University of Wyoming, its football team, and the Cowboy State following a Labor Day Weekend tragedy.
A one car accident on Monday morning claimed the life of U.W. freshman Ruben Narcisse, 19, of Miami, Florida. Also injured were Trey Fox, 19, of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, C.J. Morgan, 18, of Aurora, Colorado, and J.J. Quinlan, 19, or Everett, Washington. All four were members of the Wyoming Cowboy’s football team and were traveling north on U.S. 287, six miles from the Wyoming border when the driver of the truck apparently fell asleep and the Toyota Tundra drifted from the road. Colorado State Patrol spokesman Sgt. John Hahn said there was no evidence that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.
"The loss of any student saddens us immeasurably," said UW President Tom Buchanan. "My condolences go out to Ruben's family and friends. The entire university community grieves this loss."
Indeed, all of Wyoming grieves this tragedy, as do the family and friends Narcisse left behind in Florida. In the same manner that athletic camaraderie can tie two states together via a football program, so too can it cause the pain of loss to be shared. If nothing else, sudden catastrophe reminds us all about the many, many lives that a young man like Ruben Narcisse touches.
While there is a human need to make sense out of heartbreak, there is never acceptable closure when a young life is lost as it stands on the threshold of adulthood and dreams.
There is only profound pain and it is being felt from Florida to Wyoming.