UPDATE: Utah college identifies football player killed in crash

Local News
MONDAY 10/4/2021 2:04 p.m.

EPHRAIM, Utah (ABC4) – A vigil has been planned for the Utah college football player killed in a Sunday night crash. Ephraim Police confirmed a Snow College student-athlete was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Sanpete County, about 115 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Snow College Football has confirmed the player killed is freshman offensive lineman Mafatini Mafatini. The Badgers say Mafatini joined the team this season after playing football in Maui, Hawaii.

“We are extremely saddened by the news of Mafitini’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family back in Maui. Mafatini 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. Again, we give our love and prayers for his family and for all those that were involved in this terrible accident,” says Snow College Head Football Coach Zac Erekson.

“A tragedy like this shakes all of us,” Snow College President Bradley Cook said. “We appreciate those who have delicately handled this situation with competence and pledge our support to our coaches, players, and the Mafatini family during this difficult time.” 

Athletic Director Rob Nielson echoed President Cook’s comments, saying, “Badger Football is a family, and we all are experiencing grief today. We will work together and take care of one another.”

Snow College will hold a gathering on Monday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. on Robert Stoddard Football Field to remember Mafatini.

Mafatini came to Snow College with a formal rival, Tuipuloto Lai, according to Maui News.

ORIGINAL STORY: Utah college football player killed in one-vehicle crash

MONDAY 10/4/2021 6:47 a.m.

EPHRAIM, Utah (ABC4) – A central Utah college student is dead after a crash in Sanpete County.

Ephraim Police say Snow College has confirmed one of its football players died in the single-vehicle crash on 100 North Sunday night.

Numerous Snow College Football players, including Cortez Hogans, Lisala Tai, Noah Kema, and Owen Fa’amoe, posted to Twitter early Monday morning expressing their condolences for the player killed, who appears to be Mafatini Mafatini, a freshman offensive lineman.

Kema says in part, “Mafitini I’ll always remember your pure heart and smile…Rest in Love.”

While the family has been notified and a support team has been assembled authorities have not yet identified the player killed.

ABC4 will update this story as information becomes available.

Snow College is a community college located in Ephraim, about 115 miles south of Salt Lake City.

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