A Chantilly man died at approximately 11:37 p.m. on July 6 after a vehicle struck him on Route 50.
Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Route 50 near Tall Cedars Parkway for what was originally reported as a suspicious person call.
Several people called in to report an adult male bicycling in the travel lanes on Route 50 westbound. A deputy learned a vehicle had stuck the bicycle and its rider when arriving at the scene.
Charles William Blackford, 29, of Chantilly, was riding his bicycle while several vehicles attempted to swerve to avoid him. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the 23-year-old driver of a 2005 Cadillac, behind one of the swerving vehicles, struck the victim.
Blackford was transported to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, where he later died.
Blackford was a former Marine, who “hit very hard times” after his discharge, according to sister Tamara Blackford. Trained as an aviation mechanic, Blackford was temporarily homeless before moving to Virginia.
According to Tamara Blackford, the bicycle was his only form of transportation because of his financial difficulties.
Even so, she remembers her brother as maintaining a positive attitude even during hard times. Very open with his family, Tamara Blackford recalls he brother’s dreams of opening up a nonprofit organization, specifically one dedicated to the homeless.
Blackford’s bicycle was not equipped with the white lamp on front and red lamp on rear setup that is required to operate on a highway at nighttime.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell said that it is unlikely any charges will stem from the incident.
“It was difficult to see the bicyclist on the road, and a number of cars had to swerve to avoid the vehicle,” Troxell said. “Also, alcohol may have been a factor on the part of the victim.”
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