Olympic bronze medal-winning sprinter Deon Lendore has died after a head-on collision in Texas involving two other vehicles, state police said. He was 29.
The Trinidad and Tobago track star was working as a volunteer assistant at Texas A&M when he crashed on his drive home from practice Monday, team coach Pat Henry said.
Lendore’s VW Jetta appeared to have crossed the center line and sideswiped another vehicle before colliding head-on with an SUV, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesman Sgt. Bryan Washko said.
Lendore — also a former NCAA champ — died at the scene. The 65-year-old woman driving the SUV was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, DPS said. The cause of the crash was still under investigation.
“I can’t even express this loss,” Lendore’s A&M boss Henry said.
“Over the years our relationship had changed to not only one of my athletes to coach, but he was loved by my wife, children and grandchildren. He was part of my family. It hurts, it really hurts.”
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee called him an “inspiration” who “has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honor, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career.”
Lendore ran in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics and anchored his nation to a bronze medal in the 1,600-meter relay in London in 2012.
He also won silver in the 4x400m relay at the 2015 world championships in Beijing and claimed individual bronze medals in the indoor world championships in 2016 and 2018.
“He epitomized hope and joy each time his feet landed on the track,” Trinidad Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe said.
“He was indeed a trailblazer, a life gone too soon. We thank him for everything he has done and for giving distinguished and diligent service to TT.”
In 2014, he went undefeated through 14 races at 400 meters while winning individual NCAA indoor and outdoor championships.
“An inspiration and motivator to those around him, the impact he had not only on Aggie track & field, but across the world, will be greatly missed,” the team said.
With Post wires