Olympic track medalist Deon Lendore, 29, killed in car crash

Lendore’s car drifted across lanes in Milam County, sideswiped a vehicle, then collided head-on with an SUV. He died instantly.

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Trinidad and Tobago track star Deon Lendore, a bronze-medal winner at the 2012 Olympics in London, died Monday in a car accident in Texas. He was 29. 

According to The Daily Mirror, Sgt. Bryan Washko, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Lendore’s car drifted across lanes in Milam County, sideswiped a vehicle, then collided head-on with an SUV. He was killed instantly, and the SUV’s driver, a 65-year-old woman, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates his bronze medal win after the Men’s 400 Metres Final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March 2016 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee issued a statement about Lendore’s death, tweeting a two-minute video tribute that read: “Words cannot adequately express our sadness at the devastating and untimely loss of three-time Olympian and Olympic and World Championships bronze medallist Deon Lendore, who has been an inspiration and motivation to us all both on [and] off the track.”

“Deon has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honor, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career,” they added, “while helping and inspiring many.” The committee expressed sympathy for Lendore’s “family, friends, teammates, coaches, Abilene Club, Community of Arima and all who he would have touched.” 

“It is a sad day for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic and Commonwealth Sport Movement,” read their final tweet. “May Deon Rest and Sleep In Eternal Peace.”

Lendore won a bronze medal in the 2012 London games as the anchor of the Trinidad & Tobago 4x400m relay team. He also competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and in Tokyo last year. 

He lived in Texas, where he had previously attended Texas A&M University and competed on its track team. Lendore regularly volunteered at the school, which expressed its condolences on Twitter. 

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of Deon Lendore,” the statement read. “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.”

Per The Hill, the track and field coach of the university, Pat Henry, told the Associated Press that he “can’t even express this loss.” 

“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,” Henry added. “He was part of my family. It hurts, it really hurts.”

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