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Olympian and Texas A&M Sprinter Deon Lendore Dies in Car Accident

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Deon Lendore. | Image from athletic weekly

Deon Lendore, former champion student-athlete at Texas A&M and Olympic bronze-medal-winning sprinter has passed away after a head-on collision Monday at the age of 29.

Sgt. Bryan Washko, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Lendore was driving home from a practice he had been coaching at Texas A&M when his car reportedly veered into the oncoming lane, side-swiping a vehicle and crashing head-on into another.

Lendore was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the other car, a 65-year-old woman, remains in the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the vehicle that was sideswiped was not injured. The accident occurred in Milam County, and the DPS will be investigating the crash further.

Lendore, regarded as a legend of the Texas A&M sprinting community, ran in the Olympic games in 2012, 2016, and 2020. In 2012, he won an Olympic bronze medal in the 1,600-meter relay race for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, one of the country’s 19 total medals.

The sprinter helped bring fame to the small but well-established sports scene in Trinidad and Tobago, following the legacy of great Trinidadian sprinters such as Ato Boldon. “He was indeed a trailblazer, a life gone too soon. We thank him for everything he has done and for giving distinguished and diligent service to TT,” said Shamfa Cudjoe, Trinidad Minister of Sport.

Lendore earned five medals in world championships, including a gold medal as part of the 4×400-meter relay team at the IAAF World Relays in 2019. His first world championship medal came in 2015 when his 4×400-meter relay team won silver. He went on to win two bronze medals in the 400-meter and 4×400-meter relay at the 2016 world indoor championships and one bronze medal at the 2018 world indoor championships. 

“Lendore was truly an inspiration to all of us and has proudly represented this country in the field of athletics,” Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Sport & Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe said

“He epitomized hope and joy each time his feet landed on the track.” Cudjoe continued, “Each time, he gave it his all and was indeed a trailblazer. We thank him for his distinguished and diligent service to Trinidad and Tobago.”

Lendore also volunteered as an assistant coach for the Texas A&M team, which he ran for previously as a student. He was an NCAA champion with Texas A&M.

Lendore left a huge impact on the Texas A&M program during his time there from 2012-2015, winning multiple NCAA championships and pulling down 14 straight wins in 2014. The team stated, “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.”

Following his historic season, Lendore became the first and only male Texas A&M athlete awarded The Bowerman: an honor bestowed to the most outstanding college track and field athlete in the nation. Lendore was also named Texas A&M’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

“This is very difficult to express. I can’t even express this loss,” Pat Henry, Texas A&M head coach, said. “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.”

“Deon Lendore leaves an enormous legacy not only at Texas A&M but on the world stage,” Aggies Athletic Director Ross Bjork said. “It is an unthinkable tragedy and tremendous loss for the track and field community and for Aggies everywhere.”

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