South Africa

Former Springbok Wannenburg dies after car accident in Texas

Former Springbok Wannenburg dies after car accident in Texas

Wannenburg, selected 20 times by South Africa as a loose forward, is believed to have died in Austin after a vehicle fleeing police crashed into the back of a vehicle driven by the 41-year-old South African .

Former Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg. Photo: @Springboks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Former Springbok Pedrie Wannenburg, who died in a multi-vehicle accident in Texas this weekend, was a “gentle giant”, a family friend told AFP on Saturday, confirming the tragedy.

Wannenburg, selected 20 times by South Africa as a loose forward, is believed to have died in Austin after a vehicle fleeing police crashed into the back of a vehicle driven by the 41-year-old South African .

An Austin police spokesman said a 16-year-old suspect, who ignored a call to stop, ran away and hit the back of the vehicle Wannenburg was driving at an intersection.

“Hard as nails on the pitch and soft as jelly. A gentle giant,” said the Pretoria-based friend who requested anonymity. “Words fail me. I am struggling to accept that Pedrie is no longer with us.

“He was a lekker oke (good guy) who loved his family, friends and rugby. He didn’t deserve to die so young and in such terrible circumstances.

Wannenburg and his son, Francois, were airlifted to hospital where the former Springbok succumbed to his injuries. His son is recovering while his wife and daughter, Isabelle, escaped serious injury.

“If there’s a bright side to this dark occasion, it’s that the rest of the family escaped death,” said the friend, who had known Wannenburg since his high school days.

Eugene Eloff, former coach of the Johannesburg-based Lions franchise, said on Facebook: “I am devastated. I have no words. I have just learned that my friend Pedrie Wannenburg has died in a car accident.

“Devastating news. RIP wonderful man. We will miss you so much. My thoughts are with Evette (his wife) and the children. I keep you in my heart and in my prayers.”

Former Ulster team-mate Dan Tuohy told the BBC that “Pedrie was still so talented and when he turned it on, wow, he could really play. He just read the game really well”.

The 1.96m forward joined the Pretoria-based Bulls franchise in 2001 and later lined up for Ulster, Castres, Oyonnax, Denver Stampede and Austin Elite.

Born in the north-eastern town of Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit), he made 99 consecutive appearances for the Bulls and played for the Springboks between 2002 and 2007.

He was considered unlucky not to have made the 2007 Springboks Rugby World Cup squad that went on to beat England in the final in Paris.

He moved to the United States six years ago and worked in the refrigeration industry and coached the West Houston Lions.



Former Springbok Wannenburg dies after car accident in Texas

Source link Former Springbok Wannenburg dies after car accident in Texas

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