A tragic situation occurred on a street of Lechería, Venezuela early Saturday morning as a group of young triathletes headed to the "II válida del Campeonato Nacional de Triatlón" (2nd Triathlon National Championship) was run over by a vehicle traveling at high speed. So far three young triathletes' ages 16-18 have died while several others have been injured.
The group of athletes from the Carabobo selection team left their hotel early Saturday morning and were biking to the triathlon event. At approximately 4:45 AM, on a street in Lechería, the group was hit by a vehicle traveling at high speed. The roads at the time were open to traffic as the event was not in progress. Local news reports state that the vehicle and driver have been detained, but it's unclear when that might have occurred. Reports also state that the driver was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and was traveling at high speed.
The triathletes run over by the vehicle were competing with more than 180 other athletes in the elimination process, all trying to qualifying for the 2013 Junior National Games, a competition organized by the National Sports Institute.
The Venezuelan Triathlon Federation suspended all activities at the Triathlon National Championship upon hearing of the early morning tragedy.
Locals, Cyclist and Athletes protested the tragedy on the streets of Lechería later that morning.
News Coverage (in Spanish):
- Tres ciclistas fallecieron tras arrollamiento en Lecherías
- Mueren 2 ciclistas de la selección Carabobo
- Dos de los ciclistas arrollados este sábado en Lechería se encuentran fuera de peligro