Authorities in Australia have confirmed the sad news that former Olympian Daniel Batman, described as the best all-round sprinter Australia has ever seen, was killed Wednesday in a single-car accident. He was 31.
According to The Australian, Batman — who ran the 100m, 200m and 400m events at the 2000 Olympic Games — was on his way to visit his two oldest children in the country’s Northern Territory when his car veered off the road and crashed at midnight on Monday.
Police were notified of the accident several hours later after wreckage from Batman’s car was discovered by a passing driver.
“Although we’re still in the early stages of the investigation, it appears as though the man was traveling east on the Arnhem Highway in a Holden Commodore when the vehicle left the road, crashed into a culvert and landed 10m off the road,” Northern Territory detective Acting Sen-Sgt John Worrall told the Herald Sun.
“At this stage it is believed speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors in the crash.”
Following Batman’s death, tributes to the former sprinter came pouring in from around the web.
Australian hurdler Jana Pittman tweeted:
“So sad to hear the news of Daniel Batman’s passing. We spent most of our teens on trips together. Condolences to his family.”
Pole vaulter Steve Hooker added: “RIP Daniel Batman. You were truly an original. All our thoughts are with your young family.”
Batman, who quit athletics in 2004 to pursue a career in real estate, was reportedly attempting a comeback this year in the hope of making the Olympic team for London.
In his passing, Daniel leaves behind two children from ex-wife Nova Peris, a fellow Olympic sprinter, and a 1-year-old child with new partner Natalie Sainsbury.
Yahoo! has more on Daniel Batman’s fatal car crash in the video below: