Deon Lendore, three-time Olympian and NCAA champion at Texas A&M, has died aged 29

Deon Lendore, an Olympic bronze medalist sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago and former NCAA champion at Texas A&M, was killed in a head-on collision in Texas, state police said. He was 29 years old.

Lendore, a Texas A&M volunteer assistant coach, died Monday after his car swerved off the center line, skidded into a vehicle and then collided with a sport utility vehicle, said Sgt. Bryan Washko, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Texas A&M coach Pat Henry said Lendore was on his way home from practice when the crash happened.

Deon Lendore competes in the men’s 4x400m relay qualifiers for Trinidad and Tobago during the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo: BIJOU SAMAD via Getty Images)

Lendore died at the scene. The driver of the SUV, a 65-year-old woman, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, the DPS said. The driver of the vehicle slipped sideways by Lendore before the collision was uninjured. The cause of the crash was investigated on Tuesday.

Lendore competed in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics and anchored Trinidad and Tobago to a bronze medal in the 1600-meter relay in London in 2012. In 2014, he remained undefeated through 14 races in the 400-meter distance while by winning the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Individual Championships. .

Deon Lendore raced for Texas A&M in 2014, when he won the individual NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the 400-yard race.  (Photo: Icon Sports Wire via Getty Images)

Deon Lendore raced for Texas A&M in 2014, when he won the NCAA individual indoor and outdoor titles in the 400-yard race. (Photo: Icon Sports Wire via Getty Images)

“He embodied hope and joy every time his feet landed on the track,” Trinidad Sports and Community Development Minister Shamfa Cudjoe said. “He was indeed a pioneer, a life that started too early. We thank him for all he has done and for rendering distinguished and diligent service to TT.

Lendore has spent the past two years as a volunteer assistant at Texas A&M while continuing to compete professionally.

“I can’t even express this loss,” Henry said. “Over the years our relationship changed not only with one of my athletes to coach, but he was loved by my wife, kids and grandchildren. He was part of my family. It hurts, it really hurts.

This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.

Naomi C. Amerson