Pernell Whitaker won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006

By Maria Pasquini
July 15, 2019 10:43 AM
The Ring Magazine via Getty

Boxer Pernell Whitaker, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1984, has died after being struck by a vehicle in Virginia. He was 55.

Police received a call on Sunday at 10:04 p.m. local time that there had been an accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian in Virginia Beach, authorities said in a news release.

Upon arriving at the scene, police saw that an adult male victim, who they went on to identify as Whitaker, had been hit by the vehicle. Whitaker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene with police.

According to police, an investigation into the crash is still ongoing, although there is no further information available at this time.

(L-R) Oscar De La Hoya and Pernell Whitaker
The Ring Magazine via Getty

Whitaker’s youngest son Devon told the Virginian-Pilot that he was “shocked” to hear of his father’s death.

“I’m still trying to process everything that’s going on. But he was a cool guy,” Devon, 23, told the newspaper on Monday morning. “I guess he was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn’t see him.”

Pernell Whitaker
BOB DAEMMRICH/AFP/Getty

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Whitaker, nicknamed “Sweet Pea,” won championship titles in four different weight classes throughout his decorated career, and was named fighter of the year by The Ring magazine in 1989.

He would go on to represent America in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, picking up a gold medal in the process.

After retiring from the sport in 2001, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006.

Although he may have hung up his own boxing gloves, Whitaker spent six years working as a trainer, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

He is survived by his five children, TMZ reported.

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