Speeding Teen Fleeing Police Kills Former Rugby Star in Violent Crash

A legendary South African rugby star was killed Friday night in Texas when the vehicle he was driving was hit by a 16-year-old fleeing police.

Pedrie Wannenburg, 41, had a stellar career with the Vodacom Bulls, Springboks, and other teams before settling in Houston, where he coached the Rice University rugby team and promoted the sport all over the country, KHOU reported.

Wannenburg’s 8-year-old son was critically injured in the crash and flown to a hospital but is expected to survive. His wife and 10-year-old daughter were also in the vehicle.

The 16-year-old suspect — who has been charged with murder, reckless aggravated assault, and three counts of aggravated assault — and his two passengers were not seriously hurt, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

Cy-Fair Fire Department

Investigators said the incident began shortly before 6 p.m. Friday when police tried to pull over the teen driver on a traffic violation. Instead, the teen sped off and led officers on a chase that hit speeds of 100 mph before the suspect rammed into the back of Wannenburg’s vehicle and went airborne. The teen’s vehicle then hit another with multiple people inside. Two people from that vehicle were taken to a hospital.

Wannenburg and his son were both flown to a hospital, where the rugby star was pronounced dead.

Former teammates and coaches flooded social media with respects for their former comrade.

“I am shattered, have no words. Just heard that my friend Pedrie Wannenburg passed away in a car accident,” former coach Loffie Eloff tweeted.

The Vodacom Bulls tweeted that the entire team was “devastated,” and former teammate Stephen Farris said he was a true legend.

“Pedrie was a legend of the game and one of the nicest guys you could ever meet,” he tweeted. “Thoughts are with his wife Evette and his young kids.”

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[Featured image: FILE – Pedrie Wannenburg of the Bulls of South Africa during a Super 14 rugby union match in Perth, Australia, March 27, 2010. (AP Photo/File)]