University of Houston pole vaulter killed in boat crash on Lake LBJ in Burnet County

Hill Country

BURNET COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A boat crash on Lake LBJ in Burnet County Wednesday night killed a student-athlete from the University of Houston.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department identified the victim as Robert Platt Jr. of Sugar Land, Texas. The University of Houston later confirmed that the 20-year-old sophomore competed for the track and field team as a pole vaulter.

The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office reported that the initial 911 call for a “traumatic injury” on the lake came at 8:53 p.m. Wednesday. About five minutes later, firefighters from the Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the Legends at Lake LBJ neighborhood, which is located on the Colorado River arm of the lake.

Capt. Marc Talamantez with the Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire Department told KXAN that a team went into the water and retrieved Platt’s body at about 9:30 p.m., but attempts to revive him were ultimately unsuccessful.

The University of Houston shared that Platt recently finished his sophomore season as a pole vaulter with the Cougars. His mother, Kaddie Platt, also coached the school’s volleyball team from 2012 to 2019. University personnel shared their condolences in a lengthy statement posted on Thursday.

“I cannot express how devastated everyone in the Houston Track & Field program is. Robert was an outstanding young man, and our team was blessed to have him as a part of it for two years,” Track & Field Head Coach Leroy Burrell said.

“Houston Athletics and our Track & Field program will always be grateful for the time we shared with Robert,” said Chris Pezman, the vice president for athletics. “We will do all we can to help the Platt family and our student-athletes, and send our thoughts and prayers to Kaddie, their family and friends.”

Texas Game Wardens are now talking to eight other people who were on the boat at the time of the crash, but none of them were hurt. These witnesses may provide more information about what caused the crash, which is still under investigation.

Neighbors said they saw an ambulance arrive Wednesday evening, followed by investigators talking to an emotional crowd of people in front of a large home on Legends Parkway.

Texas Game Wardens said an autopsy for Platt was ordered on Thursday. Funeral arrangements are currently pending, according to the University of Houston.

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