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Bad luck strikes Liberty Bowl tailgaters

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Liberty Bowl parking lot was packed with people tailgating. Some got here as early as 8 a.m. Saturday, and one group was determined not to let anything get in their way of coming to the game.

Richard Searles, his wife Karin and their friends consider themselves die hard Kansas State fans. The group drove from Kansas to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl game but not before a rocky start.

"Got to Clinton Missouri, stopped at a light on a highway, red light, and started going, and a semi plowed into the back of us," Richard Searles said. "Busted out the back window, bent the frame, our side doors don't open, so I'm sure the van is totaled."

"I think we're very lucky and fortunate that nobody got seriously hurt," Karin Searles said. "Got a couple bumps on my head but nothing to worry about."

Richard and his friends even put purple tape on the back of the van. A sign they added tells their story, literally.

It reads: "Can't stop these KSU fans, hit by a semi-truck, robbed and all our stuff stolen, yep still going to the game!"

Yes, robbed. Richard said the alarm in his van went off around 5 a.m. Saturday. He said someone stole his laptop and camera out of the van  parked at the hotel they were staying in.

"The car's replaceable, the junk inside of it is replaceable, but a good time on the road with friend and family, it's not replaceable, and a K-State win is definitely going to help," Richard said.

The group said even though they became the victims of crime in the Bluff City, they still love Memphis.