Former world hurdles champion Bett killed in car crash at 28

Nicholas Bett, a Kenyan runner who won the 2015 world championship title in the 400-meter hurdles, was killed in an early-morning car crash Wednesday in the country's famed high-altitude training region, police and his coach said. He was 28.

Bett had only just returned home this week from the African championships in Nigeria.

Nandi county police commander Patrick Wambani said Bett was killed in the crash on the road between Eldoret and Kapsabet, two of Kenya's best-known distance-running training towns in the Rift Valley region. He was born and lived in the region.

Bett was driving alone, Wambani said. Bett's SUV hit bumps in a road and rolled, landing on its roof in a ditch, his coach, Vincent Mumo, told The Associated Press. Mumo said the accident happened at about 6 a.m.

"I'm out of words," Mumo said. "We thank god for his life." Mumo said Bett's twin brother, Aron Koech, who is also an athlete, was "beyond grief."

Bett was also the father of 2-year-old twin boys. His gold in the 400 hurdles at the 2015 world championships in Beijing was a breakthrough victory for Kenya, normally a powerhouse only in middle- and long-distance events.