Retired Jamaica-born high jumper Germaine Mason passed away in an early morning motorcycle crash along the Palisadoes main road in Kingston. The 34-year-old won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Mason is believed to have lost control of his bike and crashed, dying instantly at approximately 4.20am. He had been on a night out with triple world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt, along with sprinter Michael Frater and was riding at the front of a convoy. Mason was the only person involved in the crash.

Mason was born in Jamaica and trained with the Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track Club before switching allegiance to Great Britain in 2006. Two years later he won a silver medal for Great Britain in Beijing after jumping 2.34m – a height that equalled his personal best – to finish behind the Russian Andrey Silnov, who cleared 2.36m.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted after his death: “Our sincere condolences to sporting fraternity.”

Also, British sprint legend Linford Christie was among the first to pay tribute to Mason. “Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day. R I P Germaine. Never forgotten,” Christie posted on Twitter.

Mason is still the holder of the Jamaican national record in the high-jump, set before he emigrated to the UK.