PKG | Famed Batman impersonator killed in Maryland Batmobile accident
A Baltimore County man, known all over the state of Maryland for dressing up as Batman and visiting children in hospitals, is dead after he was hit by a car on I-70 late last night in Washington County.
BIG POOL, Md. -- Superhero fans across the four-state area are mourning the loss of one of their own: a famed Batman impersonator who spent countless hours dressing up at the ‘Caped Crusader’ to visit children in hospitals.
"This is a personal tragedy because Mr. Robinson did do so many good things, and [the accident] could have been avoided," said Lt. Michael Fluharty with Maryland State Police (MSP).
Fifty-one-year-old Leonard Robinson was known for appearing at local hospitals, schools and charity events in a full-blown Batman costume and 1960s custom-made Batmobile.
However, according to investigators with MSP, problems with Robinson’s Batmobile on Sunday night eventually led to Robinson’s involvement in the car accident that took his life.
"This is the first time we've had an accident involving the Batmobile,” said Fluharty, emphasizing the unique situation.
State Police said Robinson was headed eastbound on I-70 around 10:30 p.m. when his Batmobile broke down. Investigators said Robinson pulled the Batmobile over into the left shoulder, but he didn't pull over far enough.
“He was straddling the shoulder,” said Fluharty. “The left side of the car was on the shoulder, but the right side of the car was hanging out in the fast lane.”
After breaking down, police said Robinson went around to the passenger side of the vehicle to check out the car. That’s when an oncoming vehicle driving in the left lane of I-70 side-swiped the Batmobile and hit Robinson.
"The preliminary investigation is showing [Robinson] was at fault in the accident by being in the roadway,” Fluharty said.
MSP investigators said Robinson died as a result of his injuries. The owner of the 2010 Toyota Camry that hit Robinson, 39-year-old Mark Karman of Charlottesville, Va. was not injured.
"As the investigation continues, we're looking very closely at the car to see if it should have been on the roadway [in the first place],” said Fluharty. “We're not finding any registration to the car at this time."
Investigators said there were also a number of safety mechanisms that had been altered on the Batmobile. They said the area in which Robinson pulled over was poorly lit, and did not see any lights on the vehicle which would indicate a hazard when they arrived.
Investigators said Robinson was not wearing his Batman costume at the time he was hit, however they did find it inside the Batmobile after responding to the scene.
Troopers with MSP said the accident is still under investigation, and they are looking into what may have caused Robinson’s car to break down. Fluharty told WHAG Monday morning that investigators don't anticipate filing any charges, as they believe Robinson was at fault by partially being in the roadway.
As troopers continue to investigate the accident, much like Batman, Robinson is being remembered not just for the man he was on the inside, but for the things he did.