KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Usain Bolt was involved in a minor car crash shortly before dawn Sunday in his Caribbean homeland of Jamaica but was not hurt, according to the publicist for the world’s fastest man.
Carole Beckford said the three-time Olympic champion was returning from a party with friends in the early hours Sunday when he was involved in a “fender bender” in Jamaica’s capital of Kingston.
“There were no injuries at all. He is fine and resting at home,” Beckford told The Associated Press in Jamaica.
Police in the Half-Way-Tree area where the accident took place say they are still investigating, but it appears that the sprinting champ somehow lost control of his black BMW and swerved into guard rails shortly after 5 a.m. local time.
Fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell was traveling in another car at the time and was at the scene of Bolt’s accident.
“My friend and countryman (Bolt) is ok after a fender bender,” Powell’s Twitter account said Sunday morning.
Powell’s Twitter feed dispelled rumors that he was also hurt: “Contrary to the news, I was in another car.”
Bolt and Powell had just returned to Jamaica after competing at the Diamond League meet in Norway. At that meet, Bolt recovered from a poor start to win the 100 meters in 9.79 seconds, beating Powell by 0.06 seconds.
Bolt remains undefeated this year. The Jamaican star hasn’t lost since failing to defend his title in the 2011 world championships in South Korea after being disqualified in the final for a false start.
It’s not the first time Bolt has been in a worrying car crash in Jamaica.
In 2009, Bolt crashed a BMW into a ditch along a highway. He required minor surgery on his left foot after stepping onto thorns while getting out of the wreckage.
A month after the accident, Bolt told reporters: “After something like that you look at life through and over, and look at what has gone wrong — where you should improve or should be careful.”
Bolt’s coaches could not be reached for comment Sunday. Beckford said she would release further details when they became available.
Bolt emerged as a global superstar after his stellar 2008 performance at the Beijing Games, where he became the first sprinter to set three world records in the same Olympics.
He gave much of the credit for his 2008 renaissance to his willingness to act the part — to stop the late-night partying, which he conceded could be over the top, and spend more time in the gym.
The news of Bolt’s car accident worried his fans in Jamaica, where the charismatic athlete is regarded as a national treasure.
“?He should be more careful on the roads,” said Rashalee Mitchell, an assistant lecturer at Jamaica’s University of the West Indies. “Jamaica cannot afford to lose a precious athletic gem as ‘LightningBolt.'”
David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.