After his car drifted across lanes and collided with another vehicle in Texas, a three-time Olympic sprinter and previous NCAA champion at Texas A&M died.
Deon Lendore, 29, a bronze medalist sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago, died on Monday after his car crossed the center line, sideswiped another vehicle, and collided with an SUV, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Sgt. Bryan Washko (DPS).
Coach Pat Henry of Texas A&M said Lendore was driving home from practice as a volunteer assistant coach for his alma university when the accident occurred.
Lendore passed away on the spot. According to DPS, the SUV’s driver, a 65-year-old lady, was brought to the hospital with significant injuries.
The driver of the vehicle Lendore sideswiped prior to the collision was unharmed. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.
Lendore competed in the Olympics in 2012, 2016, and 2020, anchoring Trinidad & Tobago to a bronze medal in the 1,600-meter relay in London in 2012.
With Texas A&M, he ran undefeated in 14 400-meter races in 2014, claiming individual NCAA indoor and outdoor championships.
‘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.’
While continuing to compete professionally, Lendore worked as a volunteer assistant at Texas A&M for the past two years.
‘I can’t even express this loss,’ 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 Texas A&M Track and Field/Cross Country team uploaded a tribute to their late coach on Tuesday.
‘It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of Deon Lendore,’ the team wrote on Twitter.
‘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 Olympic team from Trinidad and Tobago was also devastated by the death of its sprinter.
‘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 an off the track,’ the team wrote on Twitter.
Jasper Gray, Lendore’s girlfriend and an Arizona runner, expressed her sorrow on Twitter, noting that she was heartbroken at the prospect of never being able to cheer for him at a competition again.