Deon Lendore, a three-time Olympian from Trinidad and Tobago who coached track at Texas A&M University, tragically died in a head-on car crash Monday evening.
He was 29.
Lendore was a volunteer assistant coach for Texas A&M’s college track and field team and was returning home from practice when he got into the accident, the school's athletics department said in a news release.
The incident took place around 6:30 p.m. in Milam County.
Lendore was driving a 2015 Volkswagen Jetta sedan traveling westbound on FM 485 when he “crossed over the center stripe and side-swiped a vehicle that was traveling eastbound,” the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) told NBC News.
His vehicle continued westbound and drifted across the center stripe again and collided with another vehicle, an Infiniti, “head-on.”
Lendore was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
The driver of the Infiniti was a 65-year-old woman from Conroe, Texas, who was rushed to a hospital with “incapacitating injuries.” The driver of the first vehicle sideswiped sustained no injuries, Texas DPS said.
Lendore represented Trinidad and Tobago in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games, bringing home the bronze medal in the 4x400m relay at the London 2012 Olympics.
In his accomplished career he won five world medals, including gold in the 4x400m relay at the IAAF World Relays in 2019, according to Texas A&M.
He competed for Texas A&M from 2012 to 2015, where he set records. Lendore was the university’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2014 (which was a tie) and 2015.
Head track and field coach Pat Henry said in a statement, “This is very difficult to express, I 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. He was part of my family. It hurts, it really hurts. My thoughts are with his family and the efforts to get through this very difficult period of time,” he added.
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team shared a tribute on Twitter stating, “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.”
“Deon has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honor, patriotism and an indomitable will throughout his career while helping and inspiring many,” the statement added.
The U.S. Embassy Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago also shared a statement calling his death “untimely and tragic.”
“A three-time Olympian, an Olympic bronze medalist, and a World Championship bronze medalist, Deon was a former Texas A&M University sprinter who represented his country proudly with honor,” Chargé de Affaires Shante Moore wrote. “May he rest in peace.”