Payne Stewart, Terry Sawchuck, and Senna are all good examples of sports legends that met an untimely demise.
Actually, O.J. Simpson is alive and well, unless that was a joke.
To the list of legends I submit:
Howie Morenz. Before there was a “Rocket” or a “Flower”, Morenz was the biggest Montreal Canadien hockey player before his untimely death from complications surrounding a a head injury in 1937.
Frank Gotch. Considered by historians to be the premier American werestler of the early 20th century. Was still active when he died of illness around 1916.
Here’s more names, some possibly legendary, some not but tragic nontheless:
Oklahoma State University basketball team
U.S. Boxing Team (plane crash in Poland)
University of Evansville Basketball team (sometime in the 1950s, plane crash)
AC Milan soccer team (plane crash, 1950ish)
Jerome Brown (Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro, killed w/son in car crash)
I don’t have the guys name, but there was a Soviet hockey player that died in a car crash in the early 80s who was considered at the time to be the greatest player in the world. Also, there was a bullfighter who held the record for the most kills when he was gored to death by a bull many years ago.