Sprint superstar Usain Bolt was caught up in a fatal motorcycle crash in Jamaica which claimed the life of Jamaican-born Germaine Mason, who was a close friend of Bolt. Reports are that the two were among a group of athletes and entertainers who had attended a soca party at Kingston's Waterfront that evening.
Team Jamaica, a website run by Jamaican athletics supporters, said a number of athletes, including Bolt and Frater, were riding in a convoy with Mason when the crash took place, but other reports say that Bolt was on his way home when he heard of the accident and immediately made his way to the scene.
Mason, 34, who was a Jamaican star athlete and record holder prior to joining Team Great Britain and winning a silver medal in high jumper at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, died Thursday in the early morning crash which occurred near Kingston, police said, when he lost control of his motorcycle.
Bolt, Jamaica's eight-time Olympic sprint champion and 11-time world champion, and fellow sprinter Michael Frater were immediately at the scene.
"Usain Bolt was part of the group that came by and he was very, very emotional, and still is," police senior superintendent Calvin Allen told the BBC. "I understand they are very close friends."
Mason began competing for Britain, his father's homeland, in 2006 after having taken bronze for Jamaica at the 2004 world indoors and claimed silver at the 2000 world juniors in Chile and bronze at the 2002 world juniors in Kingston. Both the prime minister of Jamaica and the leader of the opposition have extended their condolences to Mason's relatives and friends.
Fuzz Caan, a senior high jump coach at British Athletics who worked with Mason during his time as Olympic champion, said "Germaine was an outstanding athlete and a truly lovely man. He had a wry sense of humour and was a pleasure to be around."
"The whole of the British Olympic Aassociation is incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Germaine Mason," said BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney.
"Germaine was a great athlete, an Olympian and a silver medal-winning part of Team GB who made history at Beijing 2008. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time."
Other British athletics stars were stunned and saddened at the news.
"This is just awful. Such sad news," tweeted 2012 London Olympic and three-time world heptathlon champion Jess Ennis-Hill.
"Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day," tweeted 1992 Barcelona Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie. "R I P Germaine. Never forgotten."
Denise Lewis, the 2000 Sydney Olympics heptathlon champion, tweeted, "My condolences and deepest sympathy go out to Germaine Mason's family & friends. A tragic loss of such fun & loving person."
Beijing Olympic 400m hurdles bronze mediallist Tasha Danvers called it "a very sad day for track and field... He will missed."