Cameron Bean, a former nationally ranked competitor in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, was struck by a vehicle while running on Saturday evening in Chattanooga, Tennessee, ABC News Channel Nine reports. On Monday, Bean’s former training group ZAP Fitness posted on Facebook that he had passed away.
According to ABC News, Bean was running against traffic around 6:45 p.m. ET when he was hit. The driver allegedly said that the sun was in her eyes, which led to her veering off the road and striking Bean.
“Shellshock right now,” ZAP Fitness elite athlete coach Pete Rea told Outside on Monday afternoon. “Cameron relished the role of sitting down for a meal with someone whose goal was to finish their first 5K. His contribution to folks that were trying to just get started in the sport was profound.”
ZAP Fitness, located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is a running camp staffed by postcollegiate athletes pursing Olympic goals. Bean was a member of the group from 2010 until earlier this year.
Bean competed in the 2013 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships, where he was a finalist. A Samford University alumnus, he holds three school records, including the indoor 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters, as well as the outdoor 5,000 meters.
“During his time at Samford, Cameron was well respected and well thought of on the track, in the classroom, and in the community,” Herb Brooks, assistant director of athletic communications, told Outside. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bean family as they deal with this tragic event.”
Since leaving ZAP earlier in the year, Rea said Bean had been taking classes in massage therapy and training to become a professional triathlete.
“He always brought a lot of energy to our group,” Rea, who coached Bean for five years as a postcollegiate, said. “We’re most saddened by what could have been.”