The equestrian community in Florida was in shock on Monday after an early-morning crash claimed the lives of two of its members, including the Olympic-caliber Venezuelan rider, Andrés Rodríguez.
Rodríguez, 31, was behind the wheel of a 1992 Porsche sports car, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office, around 3:25 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle on a curve and crashed into a concrete pillar in a gated community near the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Sophie Walker, an amateur rider who was a passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Rodríguez was declared dead at the Delray Medical Center.
Alcohol was determined to be a factor in the crash, according to a sheriff’s office report on the crash.
"It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce that Andrés Rodríguez and his passenger, Sophie Walker, suffered a tragic car accident on Monday morning," Rodríguez's Facebook page announced Monday afternoon.
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Rodríguez was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and was living in Wellington, Florida. He regularly competed in show jumping events throughout North America.
In July, he represented Venezuela at the Pan American Games held in Toronto, Canada, and won a silver medal. He had qualified for this summer’s Rio Olympic Games and was ranked No. 41 in the world, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
A newlywed, Rodríguez married his long-time girlfriend, Clementine Goutal, in December.
Walker, 30, was an amateur rider who, along with her husband, Brian, ran Woodside Farm in Wellington, the Palm Beach Post reported.
It is believed that Rodríguez was giving her a ride home from a mutual friend’s birthday party when the accident took place.
According to the Post, Sheriff’s Office deputies are still investigating the crash, but Rodríguez had been cited in Palm Beach County for speeding a number of times though all the citations had been dismissed.