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South African Rugby Star Pedrie Wannenburg Killed In Car Crash By Teen Fleeing Texas Police

todayApril 24, 2022 5

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The rugby world is mourning the sudden death of Pedrie Wannenburg.

According to People, the 41-year-old former professional rugby player passed away in Houston, Texas, after a teenager fleeing the police slammed into his vehicle suddenly.

The accident happened at around 5:45 p.m. on Friday when the Harris County Sheriff’s Office attempted to do a traffic stop at Greenhouse Road and Little York Road, per a statement from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Wannenburg had been in the car with his wife Evette and their daughter Isabelle and son Pedrie Jr. when 16-year-old Ali Alabadi fled the checkpoint and barreled into their vehicle. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said that the teen driver also struck three other vehicles at the time, and a fourth car that was not able to stop in time also crashed into the scene.

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Wannenburg and his 8-year-old son were immediately transported to a local hospital, where the father succumbed to his injuries about an hour later. Pedrie Jr. is still in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, per KTRK-TV. Evette and Isabelle did not suffer any serious injuries.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, another driver who was hit in the accident, Kathy Lawson, was also moved to a nearby hospital, along with Alabadi and the two teenage passengers inside his vehicle. Alabadi has since been arrested on charges of felony murder, reckless aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, and aggravated assault causing bodily injury.

Such a tragedy…

In case you didn’t know, Wannenburg had played for the South African Bulls From 2002 to 2010 and won three Super Rugby titles and five Currie Cups during that time. He later went on to play for Ulster in Ireland and Castres in France. The athlete also was the team captain for the Denver Stampede before playing for and later coaching the Austin Elite.

Following the devastating news, the Blue Bulls offered their condolences to his family. The team wrote on Twitter:

“We are devastated at the passing of Vodacom Bulls legend Pedrie Wannenburg. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Wannenburg family.”

The president of the South Africa national rugby union team, Mark Alexander, looked back on Wannenburg’s incredible career, saying:

“Pedrie was a fun-loving and hard-working man and someone who gave all he had on the pitch, but afterwards always had a smile on his face. He represented his country with aplomb – who will ever forget the try he scored in the narrow victory over the All Blacks in Rustenburg in 2006?”

He continued:

“To lose someone at the cusp of the rest of his life with a young family, after a long and storied rugby career is extremely sad and our thoughts are with his wife, Evette, their two children, Isabelle and Francois, as well as his parents and other family members, loved ones and friends during this very difficult time.”

Our hearts go out to the Wannenburg family, as well as the others who were impacted by this awful accident.

[Image via Pedrie Wannenburg/Facebook, KHOU 11/YouTube]

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