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5 in musical’s cast die in Texas crash

AMARILLO, Texas — Alcohol was a possible factor in the deaths of five members of a popular summer musical production who were killed in an auto accident in the Texas Panhandle, an official said Tuesday.

Christopher Ray, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman, said members of the cast of ‘‘Texas’’ — a musical performed every year at Palo Duro Canyon State Park south of Amarillo — were returning from an end-of-the-year party Monday night when the accident occurred.

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Four of the dead were dancers while the fifth worked in the box office, according to the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation’s executive director, Kris Miller. Members of the production spent the night at the foundation’s offices in Canyon, comforting one another and awaiting details on the accident, Miller said.

Tuesday night’s performance was canceled.

Their vehicle was attempting to turn onto US 287 near Dumas, about 40 miles north of Amarillo, when it pulled
in front of a southbound
18-wheeler and was hit broadside on the passenger’s side, Ray said. Alcohol is ‘‘just suspected at this time,’’ he said.

Killed in the wreck were Andrew Duncan of Wichita Falls; Clinton Diaz of Amarillo; Amanda Starz of Timonium, Md.; Julian Arredondo of Haltom; and Eric Harrison of Fort Worth, Ray said.

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