Car strikes, kills blind star Talbott

May 20, 1994|By Hal Habib | Hal Habib,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

MIAMI -- Carlos Talbott, a legally blind runner from Miami Springs who rose to international prominence, died last night after being struck by a car while running in Cooper City.

He was 37.

Talbott was running with Ralph Guijarro, a regular training partner, when Guijarro warned Talbott cars were approaching. Talbott tried to stop but slipped on the wet pavement near a median, falling in front of the car.

L The name of the driver and other details were not available.

Talbott and Guijarro were mapping out a course for the new South Florida Striders runners club. Talbott had just been elected president.

Talbott, born in St. Louis but raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela, suffered from bilateral aniridia. He was unable to regulate light because his irises never developed. He also had congenital cataracts and a condition that caused his eyes to wander from side to side.

But it hardly seemed to slow him down.

Talbott, a language specialist for the FBI, set a marathon world best for the visually impaired in 1988 by finishing in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 55 seconds at the Paralympics in Seoul, South Korea. ** He ran his victory lap on the Olympic Stadium track before 70,000, clutching an American flag.

"Absolutely amazing," Pembroke Pines ophthalmologist Jack Tenzel once said of his patient's accomplishments. "To be that successful with his condition is incredible. Carlos has overcome quite a handicap."

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