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Boxing legend Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker dies after being hit by car, Va. cops say

Boxing champ Pernell Whitaker struck by car and killed

Olympic gold medalist and four-division champion Pernell Whitaker has been killed after being struck by a car in Virginia Beach Sunday night.
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Olympic gold medalist and four-division champion Pernell Whitaker has been killed after being struck by a car in Virginia Beach Sunday night.

Boxing champion Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker died after he was hit by a car in Virginia on Sunday night, media outlets report.

Whitaker, 55, was crossing a road and died at a “busy Virginia Beach intersection,” WVEC reports.

Police haven’t revealed if the driver, who stayed at the scene, will be charged, according to the station.

“I guess he was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn’t see him,” the retired boxer’s son, Devon Whitaker, told The Virginian-Pilot.

“Sweet Pea” Whitaker, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist, was a native of nearby Norfolk, according to WTKR. He retired in 2001 after a career that included 40 wins, “four losses and one draw,” the station reports.

Whitaker was later inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which says he was “widely considered boxing’s best ‘pound for pound’ fighter during his championship reigns.”

Jake Wareing says the boxing legend would visit a local gym and “give motivational talks to youngsters,” according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Sunday’s deadly crash came one year after Pernell’s brother, Raymond, was hurt when a car hit his moped and knocked him down, according to WVEC.

Driving is second nature to many of us, but dangers still exist on the roadways. Kyle McNew of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service provides three simple tips for driving safely and avoiding traffic accidents.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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