Justin Mentell

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Justin Mentell did more than just star in Boston Legal and Disney's G-Force.

The young actor, who died Monday in a single-car crash, put a ton of miles (literally) on his short 27 years.

Sure, you probably heard he was born in Austin, Texas, and spent most of his life in Waukegan, Ill., but here's what else you need to know about the guy who's given William Shatner and Olivia Munn the weepies. Believe it or not, he even has a very special connection to a certain Dancing With the Stars champ…

•  While we're not yet sure whether speed had something to do with his accident, it definitely had a big thing to do with Justin's past. According to the Suburban Chicago News, he was named to the U.S. Junior National speed skating team in 2000 after placing in the top four overall at the national championships. He later used these well-balanced skills as a skater in Roll Bounce.

•  Because of his elite athlete status, Justin became pals with Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno. Justin even attended tapings of Dancing With the Stars and helped cheer Apolo to ballroom victory!

•  Justin was a big traveler! According to his IMDb profile, he spent his entire junior year of high school as an exchange student in Germany. He also toured his way through Europe and Japan and has visited more than 25 countries.

•  He clearly believed in a good education. Justin attended Joan Allen's alma mater of Northern Illinois University, where he majored in fine arts and graduated in 2005. He performed in several plays and played the drums in a punk rock band during his tenure. He spent one summer giving back, working as a camp counselor and teaching acting and improvisation.

•  At the time of his death, Mentell had left Hollywood behind and returned to Waukegan, where he was supposedly focusing on art and music. A close friend tells E! News he was a sweet and fun-loving guy who was close with his family and typically opted for quality time with friends eating dinner or seeing a movie over hitting the clubs.

—Additional reporting by Aly Weisman


Recall the details of Justin's death right here.

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