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Ex-rugby star Pedrie Wannenburg killed in Texas crash by teen fleeing traffic stop

A South African rugby star died during a car wreck in Texas on Friday when a teenager fleeing a traffic stop slammed into his car, local authorities said.

Pedrie Wannenburg, 41, was inside his car with his wife Evette and their daughter Isabelle and son Francois at the time of the collision, which took place when cops tried to stop the 16-year-old driver outside of Houston, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Wannenburg’s 8-year-old son was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. His wife and 10-year-old daughter were not injured.

The driver struck three vehicles, and a fourth that could not stop in time also collided with the scene, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. In total six people were hospitalized, according to the local fire department.

“One of our units attempted to conduct a traffic stop at Greenhouse Rd & Little York when the vehicle fled. The suspect vehicle then struck two other vehicles,” Gonzalez said in a statement on Twitter.

Gonzalez identified the crash’s single fatal victim as Wannenberg, and said his wife and 10-year-old daughter were not injured by the crash.

Suspect Ali Alabadi was slapped with multiple vehicular charges by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Cy-Fair Fire Department/Facebook
Pedrie Wannenburg was driving with his wife and two children before the deadly car crash.
Pedrie Wannenburg was driving with his wife and two children before the deadly car crash.
Pedrie En Evette Wannenburg/Face
Rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg and his wife.
Pedrie Wannenburg’s wife was not injured from the fatal crash.
Pedrie En Evette Wannenburg/Face
Captain Pedrie Wannenburg #8 of Denver poses for a post-game portrait after the inaugural match of the Professional Rugby Organization.
It is not known where Pedrie Wannenburg was driving to with his family before the incident occurred.
JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images

His 8-year-old son remains in critical condition with “light-threatening injuries,” Gonzalez said.

The 16-year-old suspect was identified as Ali Alabadi. He was traveling 100 miles per hour at the moment of the crash, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The sheriff’s deputy who chased Alabadi after a 5:45 p.m. traffic stop is “still talking to the DA’s office” about the circumstances of the pursuit, Major Quincey Whitaker of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said, according to the Chronicle.

Rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg has died after a multiple vehicle crash in Texas.
Six people were sent to the hospitalized following the multi-car collision, the local fire department said.
Cy-Fair Fire Department/Facebook
Bulls Pedrie Wannenburg celebrate victory after the Super 14 final match between Vodacom Bulls and Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on May 30, 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Pedrie Wannenburg had a storied career with the South African national ruby team.
Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg has died after a multiple vehicle crash in Texas.
Suspect Ali Alabadi allegedly drove at 100 miles per hour before he crashed into multiple cars.
Cy-Fair Fire Department/Facebook
Pedrie Wannenburg seen competing at the the Heineken Cup Final in London on May 19, 2012.
Wannenburg competes in the the Heineken Cup Final in London on May 19, 2012.
David Rogers/Getty Images

The teen has been charged with felony murder, reckless aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and aggravated assault causing bodily injury, the sheriff’s office said.

Wannenburg played 20 times for Springbok — the South African national ruby team — between 2002 and 2007, and was close to being selected for South Africa’s World Cup-winning squad in France.

He later won three titles with the Pretoria-based side in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Wannenburg was based in Texas, coaching Austin Elite Rugby and was the head coach of Rice University’s Rugby Club.

Rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg has died after a multiple vehicle crash in Texas.
The scene of the deadly car collision in Houston.
Cy-Fair Fire Department/Facebook
Rugby player Pedrie Wannenburg has died after a multiple vehicle crash in Texas.
One of Pedrie Wannenburg’s son was critically injured after the collision.
Pedrie En Evette Wannenburg/Face

With Post wires

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