Boxing legend Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker fatally struck by car

Boxing legend Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker fatally struck by car

Boxing legend Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker died after being hit by a car in Virginia, according to police.

The Hall of Famer, who won world titles in four weight divisions, was hit in Virginia Beach just after 10 p.m. Sunday and was pronounced dead at the scene, Virginia Beach police said in a statement.

“I guess he was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn’t see him,” his 23-year-old son, Devon Whitaker, told the Virginian-Pilot.

“I can’t really say how I’m feeling because I’m feeling shocked. I’m still trying to process everything that’s going on. But he was a cool guy.”

Whitaker, 55, grew up in Norfolk and won an Olympic gold medal in 1984 before earning world titles in the lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight divisions.

He was named Ring magazine’s Boxer of the Year in 1989 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006, five years after retiring.

“He was a legacy here,” Virginia Beach boxing gym owner Jake Wareing told the Virginian-Pilot. “I grew up watching him all the time.”

He said that Whitaker, who went on to coach after retiring from the ring, would stop in at Wareing’s Gym “from time to time” and give motivational talks to young hopefuls working out there.

Cops said the boxing great “succumbed to his injuries on the scene.” The driver remained at the scene.

“This remains an active investigation,” the department said in its statement.

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