USA Track Star Torrin Lawrence Passes Away at Age 25

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2014

FILE - In this June 20, 2013 file photo, Torrin Lawrence reacts after his heat in the senior men's 400-meter dash at the U.S. Championships athletics meet in Des Moines, Iowa. Former University of Georgia 400-meter runner Torrin Lawrence died in a car accident early Monday, July 28, 2014 in Cordele, Ga. He was 25. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Torrin Lawrence, a 400-meter specialist best known for his work with the United States' 4x400 relay team at the IAAF World Relays, died early Monday morning "when a semi truck crashed into his stationary car after one of his tires blew out on a Georgia interstate," according to Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports

He was 25.   

Georgia police officials confirmed Lawrence's passing to TMZ Monday afternoon. According to police records, Lawrence's vehicle blew a tire and came to a stop in the middle of a three-lane highway. After exiting the car to contact authorities for assistance, the tractor trailer hit his vehicle and sent it careening into Lawrence.

He died as a result of the impact.

“We’re not exactly sure where he was in relation to the car,” Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock told Zaccardi. “He was caught up in the accident.”

April L. Brown/Associated Press

Lawrence was one of the most decorated track stars in the University of Georgia's history. He holds three school records, has the NCAA record in the indoor 300-meter sprint and won a gold medal at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship in 2010.

His sophomore campaign was largely considered his best, as he won the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Male Track Athlete of the Year award. Overall, he was a seven-time All-American and was one of the most gifted indoor track athletes in the NCAA during his career.

"In speaking for the UGA track and field community, I am shocked and pained with news of Torrin's death," Georgia coach Wayne Norton said in a statement. "First, my prayers for comfort are for Torrin's mother and family. Second, this makes me reflect on Torrin and remember him as one of the greatest talents I have ever seen in our sport and as gentle man."

Manteo Mitchell, a fellow 400-meter specialist, tweeted the following on Monday morning:

Lawrence finished his track career at Georgia in 2012 and graduated the following year. He then continued his running career after college with Nike and the United States national team, specializing in the 400-meter sprint.

He helped the U.S. win gold in the IAAF World Relays in May and finished ninth at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in the 400 last month.

The IAAF released a statement saying it was "deeply saddened" by Lawrence's passing. According to Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, news on funeral arrangements is still pending at this time. 

Lawrence is survived by his mother, Elaine Davis, and sister Latasha.    


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