Former Springbok and Bulls stalwart Pedrie Wannenburg dies in car crash in USA

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Pedrie Wannenburg. (Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP)
Pedrie Wannenburg. (Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP)

The South African rugby community mourned another tragic loss of a former Springbok on Saturday morning.

Pedrie Wannenburg, who played 20 Tests but unluckily missed out twice on going to the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, was killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Texas as a high-speed police chase ended in tragic circumstances.

Willem Strauss, president of Wannenburg's former union the Bulls, along with the union confirmed the news.

Former Junior Springbok coach Loffie Eloff, a close confidante of the tough flanker, also expressed his shock.

"I am shattered.. have no words. Just heard that my friend Pedrie Wannenburg passed away in a car accident. His family was in the car with him," said Eloff in a post on social media.

"Devastating news RIP wonderful man."

According to local news station KHOU-11, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a deputy had attempted to pull over a 16-year-old suspect, only for the car to speed away and lead to a chase.

The suspect eventually crashed into the back of Wannenburg's car near an intersection.

Gonzalez further stated that the 41-year-old - along with his son Francois - was flown to hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.

His wife Evette and daughter Isabelle escaped serious injury.

Wannenburg, who holds the unique distinction of having played 99 consecutive matches for the Bulls between 2002 and 2010, had settled in the USA in 2016, when he became one of the first high-profile South Africans to play on the country's professional circuit when he turned out for the Denver Stampede.

His family then relocated to Austin, where he worked in refrigeration and coached at local club West Houston Lions.

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