Wannenburg, who played 20 Tests for the Boks, was tragically killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Texas as a high-speed police chase resulted in a horror collision.
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According to local news station KHOU-11, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a deputy had attempted to pull over a teenage suspect, only for the car to speed away.
In other reports, and according to officials in the Cy-Fair area, deputies were originally called to the location in response to a family disturbance.
After failing to pull over, deputies say they were led on a short chase before the suspect’s vehicle went airborne and crashed into at least two other vehicles, one of which was that of Wannenburg.
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.
According to the latest reports, the 16-year-old has been charged with “felony murder”, and will also face various other charges.
Wannenburg, who 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 for the Denver Stampede.
His family then relocated to Austin, where he worked in refrigeration and coached at local club West Houston Lions.
The Bulls released the following statement:
The Bulls mourn the loss of a Loftus Versfeld legend and ex-Springbok, Pedrie Wannenburg, who sadly lost his life in a motor vehicle accident in the early hours of Saturday morning in the United States of America, where he was currently based.
Wannenburg, 41, was an instrumental member of the Vodacom Bulls team between 2002 and 2010 where he amassed over 100 Vodacom Super Rugby caps for the side. During his time with the side, he also made 20 appearances for the Springboks between 2002 and 2007.
The former loose-forward had taken up coaching and was a mentor at Austin Elite in Texas at the time of his untimely death.
The Vodacom Bulls continue to pray for his son, who remains in a critical condition after being rushed to hospital.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Evette, his children, family, former teammates and friends.
A moment of silence will be held in honour of Wannenburg ahead of the start of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship match between the Vodacom Bulls and Benetton Rugby.
PEDRIE WANNENBURG MADE HIS TEST DEBUT AT 21
Wannenburg played 20 Tests for the Springboks, making 20 starts and scoring three tries.
He made his Test debut at age 21 against France in Marseille in November 2002 and played his final test against the All Blacks in Christchurch in July 2007.
After his retirement in 2018, Wannenburg coached the Austin Elite Rugby side in North American Major League Rugby.
The South African website extends it’s condolences to Wannenburg’s family and friends.
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