Deon Lendore, an Olympic and world championship medalist from Trinidad and Tobago, died in a car accident in Texas on Monday. He was 29.
According to Texas A&M University, for whom Lendore had worked as a volunteer assistant coach over the past two seasons, the sprinter was returning home from practice when he was involved in an automobile accident.
Lendore competed at three Olympic Games and ran the anchor leg of the men’s 4x400m relay final at the 2012 Olympics in London as his country won bronze.
He won silver in the same event at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, before claiming individual bronze medals in the 400m at the 2016 and 2018 World Indoor Championships.
“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 (sic) off the track,” said a statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee.
“Deon has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honor, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career while helping and inspiring many.”
Lendore competed at his third Olympics in Tokyo last year, placing eighth with Trinidad and Tobago in the 4x400m final and reaching the 400m semifinals. He also finished third in the 400m final at the Diamond League in Zurich last September.
He was training as a professional athlete under contract with Puma while serving as a volunteer assistant coach in Texas.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Deon Lendore, who has been a part of the PUMA Family since 2017,” said a statement from the sportswear company.
“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. Rest in peace, Deon.”
In a statement sent to CNN, the Texas Department of Public Safety said three vehicles were involved in the collision in Milam County and that an investigation is still active and open.
Lendore was pronounced dead on the scene, while another driver was transported to a medical center for incapacitating injuries.