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Bicyclist dies after being struck by vehicle on Route 50

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.”


This story was updated July 15 to include information and comments provided Mr. Blackford’s sister. This additional information was included in the print version of the Loudoun Times-Mirror, July 13 edition.

To Will’s family. I didn’t know Will well and have been out of town. I just heard about Will yesterday. He lived around the corner from us. I had several conversations with him as his dog and my two boys were always attracted to each other. I’m so sorry for your loss and so sorry that people used this forum to discuss totally unrelated bike issue and to judge your son. My boys were sad when I told them and asked about Chance the dog.

To the folks who are up in arms about the outrageous comments regarding this article; Get over yourselves. The very idea of internet commentary is absurd. Its nothing more than a bunch of people (myself included) using fake names commenting on stories the facts of which we have a very limited knowledge of. Anyone taking the time to indulge in such a silly vocation (myself included) ought to think twice before taking himself too seriously. Get a life and do not refuse rights to others by the same keyboard you are using to enjoy those rights for yourself.

@annoyed:  Let


Calling the driver a victim is quite eccentric I belive.  Although the man may have to deal with the emotional trauma, which I am sure will be very difficult, it does not cause him to be victimized as I’m sure he would not likely want to switch positions with the individual on the bike.  Again here is someone who is stereotyping bicylists and assuming this is the same scenario.  Lets try to stick to the actual situation in this article as we all know plenty of drivers, and young ones to boot, have a lack of concern for the proper driving regulations as well but similarly that is neither here nor there.

The family of the deceased is not the only party in this to deserve sympathy—what about the young man who hit him?  This will certainly haunt him forever!  There is more than one victim here.

As far as cyclists in general—I know someone who was hit by a cyclist who ran a stop sign on the W&OD; trail where it crosses 704.  It damaged her car significantly, and the cyclist went limping off down the path, leaving her to deal with HER insurance company to repair the damage.  I used to live on Dry Mill Road, and the worst thing about it was the cyclists who ignored the stop sign.  And for the love of Pete, why must cyclists take business Route 7 through Hamilton to get to Purcellville, especially at dawn/dusk, during rush hour, etc., when there is a perfectly good bike path to get them there more safely?  And they don’t even patronize Hamilton businesses.  Annoying.

To done with LTM: I agree with you completely.  Deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this man.  Please know that not everyone in VA is heartless!!

Please decry the LTM for allowing unharnessed commenting on these types of stories.  Just because someone may have a thought or comment, does not necessarily mean that it has (or needs) to be shared with others.  For the sake of this man’s family, please leave well enough alone.

B.P. ....please tell your wife THANK YOU!!!it hurts to know a stranger was by his side and not a love one. The aches and broken hearts, and endless sleep we have were not called for, not like this. I appreciate you wife, and yourself for this posting. I am glad , for the most part, he was not alone. my dear Will, god how I miss you! I love you !! Te quiero mucho guy! -so far apart, yet so close at heart…

First, condolences to the family.  My wife was first on the scene of the accident and tried everything she could do to help.  If it any consolation, she was with him and prayed until other help arrived.

Your family will continue to be in our prayers.

To all you a holes out there saying bikers should ride i the street or its his fault your stupid screw you its illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk one if the driver that hit him didnt realize other cars were swerving around him to miss him he should have done the same not hit him on purpose to teach him a lesson. ya thats a real good lesson he died wow you guys need a therapist if thats how you think ppl need to learn their lessons. im sorry for your loss blackford family wish i could have met him.

To Welcome to the Internets:

It is not consolation from an online forum that we seek, it is simply consideration for a man who lost his life and his family.  No need for people to stereotype this accident as if it were any negligent bike rider without knowing details.  If people want to blog or post about bikers it should be done elsewhere not on an article that tells the story of someone’s death.

From what I know, Will does not usually even take US-50 to get home. He takes local roads. He usually would take Loudoun County Parkway (riding on the bike trail), then left onto Tall Cedars Parkway. That is nowhere near US-50 unless these writers are lying. If he was going home from work, then he would not have been on US-50. I’ve seen him ride his bike home and he is very cautious. This is not the first time a driver has run into him. He has told me on several occasions that the drivers in South Riding have ran into him, IN THE DAYTIME. So, do not think that he is a careless biker, because he is not.

I feel for the family of the deceased, however you shouldn’t expect to find consolation from an online forum.  Asking trolls to stop only further feeds them…

The man on the bike was My Son, a man who deserved respect, and not this kind of negative blogging I see here. My whole family is with broken hearts as we all loved him so much, Would you be feeling this same way if it were someone you loved?? How dare you all to say he should have known better, I find those kind of comments sickening, crude and above all heartless. I miss you son and I am loving you every minute of every day!

First, my sympathies to the family members of this person. Next, biking along these idiotic drivers is suicide in itself. People in this county do not know how to drive, and when there is a bicyclist in front of them, that makes things worse. I am wondering why byclists don;t use the W&OD; trail, which is much safer than these roads?

Also, as far as cyclists blowing through stop signs, I have seen it many times as I traveled home on Dry Mill Rd. Personally, I don’t know why Loudoun has stop signs, because everyone either thinks they are “Yield” signs, or they ignore them all together. These people are morons in “All About Me-land!”


This is William’s sister.  We are having a memorial service here in California however I believe there will be one in Virginia as well.  You may email me at [email protected] for further details.

Will was a fairly new, but good friend of mine. Please keep your rude comments to yourself. And this article is not for people to argue and debate on. He will be greatly missed.

If any of Will’s family members is still reading this, will there be a funeral held? I would be interested in attending. If so, please post up the information. Thank you.

For all of you commenting on this. The man riding his bike that died this night is my Uncle. You can all say what you would like. But my uncle wasnt making the smartest choices and the driver of the car (if you read this) I am not upset with you. Its not your fault. My uncle for whatever reason made the choice to ride in black. I miss my uncle so much and the grieving will not go away. We are trying to just get through one day at a time with God protecting and comforting us.

You people are stupid.  This guy was obviously not in the right state of mind to know Va laws or to think clearly.  He made a bad decision.  Just like millions of other people every day.  Your comments are stupid, let his family mourn his loss.  Go back to your tweeting and facebook gaming you worthless Loudoun crap.

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