Three-time Olympian Deon Lendore, who represented Trinidad & Tobago and began his track and field career while attending Texas A&M, has died. He was 29.
From Yahoo Sports:
Lendore was reportedly driving in Milam County—which sits between Austin and College Station—when his vehicle crossed the center line and “sideswiped a vehicle” traveling the other way. He then reportedly drifted over the center line a second time and crashed into a second car head-on.
Lendore, per the report, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car he hit head-on, a 65-year-old woman, was transported to a local hospital with “incapacitating injuries.” The first driver was not injured.
Throughout the course of his track and field career, he competed in three Olympic Games. In 2012, he helped his country win bronze when he ran the anchor leg of the men’s 4x400m relay final, and in the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, he won silver in the same event. During the 2016 and 2018 World Indoor Championships, he earned individual bronze medals in the 400m.
Prior to his Olympic career, he was a 12-time All-American while attending Texas A&M, and served as a volunteer coach at his alma mater before his tragic death.
“Words cannot adequately express our sadness at the devastating and untimely loss of 3x Olympian and Olympic and World Championship bronze medalist Deon Lendore who has been an inspiration and motivation to us all both on [and] off the track,” the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee said a statement. “Deon has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honor, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career while helping and inspiring many.”
Sportswear company Puma, who had worked with Lendore since 2017, also released a statement expressing its grief.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Deon Lendore, who has been a part of the PUMA Family since 2017,” the company said. “We are honored that he had chosen us to be by his side for a large part of his successful track & field career. Our thoughts are with his family.”
In a statement to People, Ross Bjork, the director of athletics at Texas A&M, honored Lendore’s “enormous legacy.”
“Deon Lendore leaves an enormous legacy not only at Texas A&M, but on the world stage,” he said. “It is an unthinkable tragedy and tremendous loss for the track and field community and for Aggies everywhere. He was a wonderful representative of Texas A&M Athletics both as a student-athlete and a volunteer coach, and we offer sincere condolences to Deon’s family, teammates and his friends.”