LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Three University of Wyoming students are dead after a crash near the state’s border with Colorado after officials say their Toyota Rav-4 ran off the road Thursday afternoon and rolled over several times.

Two more people inside the car survived and are out of the hospital.

Among the three students who lost their lives was a Las Vegas native. 19-year-old Charlie Clark competed with the Boulder City-Henderson Heatwave swim team before going on to compete in college.

“I lost a big brother and I lost a friend,” former teammate Applejean Gwinn told FOX5 Friday. “He was always smiling. He was always cracking jokes. And he always made you laugh. He was truly such a good person.”

Gwinn and Clark met on a local swim team about a decade ago, when Gwinn says she was about seven and Clark ten.

“He’s just been a big brother figure for me for a long time because I’m an only child,” Gwinn said. “And he’s just always been there for me.”

As time went on, Gwinn and the rest of Clark’s teammates say he took on a leadership role.

“When I was not having the best days at practice, he’d always make sure I was okay,” she recalled.

The team told FOX5 they were so proud of Clark for breaking into Division I college swimming, and so devastated when they learned he was one of the three that died in the crash in Colorado.

Gwinn first heard about the crash Thursday night, but did not know Clark’s status until the next morning.

“The whole night, I just didn’t know what was going on,” she said, fighting through tears. “I just kept telling myself he was fine. I just couldn’t even get myself to believe he was no longer with us.”

Gwinn and the rest of Clark’s teammates are remembering him as a larger-than-live-figure who impacted even athletes on other teams.

“People from Sandpipers, from BCH, from LVSC – even the whole country. Everyone knows Charlie,” she said.

Friday after practice, the team placed flowers at Charlie’s old shower.

Gwinn now swims around the world in championships, and is planning to attend UCLA to swim there once she graduates high school. She gives Clark immense credit for pushing her to achieve her goals, as does every other member of the swim team who talked with FOX5.

Police are still investigating how the crash happened.


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