His nine-year-old son, Francois, is fighting for his life in hospital.
Pedrie Wannenburg’s wife Evette and their daughter Isabelle were reportedly unhurt.
According to local news station KHOU-11, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a deputy had attempted to pull over a ‘possibly’ 16-year-old suspect, only for the car to speed away and lead to a chase.
The suspect eventually crashed into the back of Wannenburg’s car near an intersection.
Gonzalez further stated that Wannenburg – along with his son Francois – was flown to hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries.
Wannenburg had settled in the USA in 2016, when he became one of the first high-profile South Africans to play on the country’s professional circuit when he turned out for the Denver Stampede.
Prior to his move to the States, Wannenburg played over 100 Super Rugby matches for the Bulls and also enjoyed stints at Ulster in Ireland and French sides Castres and Oyonnax.
The Bulls took to social media to express their devastation at the news.
“We are devastated at the passing of Vodacom Bulls legend Pedrie Wannenburg.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Wannenburg family,” the Pretoria franchise posted on Facebook.
Pedrie Wannenburg made his Test debut at 21
Wannenburg played 20 Tests for the Springboks, making 20 starts and scoring three tries.
He made his Test debut at age 21 against France in Marseille in November 2002 and played his final test against the All Blacks in Christchurch in July 2007.
After his retirement in 2018, Wannenburg coached the Austin Elite Rugby side in North American Major League Rugby.