Botetourt County, VA Bicycle - Tractor-Trailer Wreck, Mar 2010
The bicyclist who was struck and killed by a Walmart tractor-trailer Tuesday was identified today as Rueben Denard Williams, 27.
Williams, who lived in Roanoke VA, was riding a Schwinn mountain bike about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday down Avery Row in Botetourt County when he ran a stop sign at U.S. 460 and was hit by the westbound truck, police said. He wasn't wearing a helmet.
Michael Morabito, 47, of Tyner, N.C., was driving the 2007 Freightliner rig that hit the bicyclist. He parked on the shoulder near the crash, which closed westbound lanes for about two hours.
The trucker wasn't charged.
The bicyclist, whose body lay covered by a sheet on the highway for more than an hour, was dead at the scene.
Williams was leaving his job as a temp worker at the Home Shopping Network when he was struck, his friend and mentor Mim Young said.
The 2002 William Fleming graduate was trying to save money to finish school, Young said. Williams was a student at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, but he didn't finish his education and has been been struggling to make it as an artist since then.
He was never without his sketchbooks, which he filled with pages of comic and anime illustrations, Young said.
"He was always creating," she said.
Young critiqued his work, and said Williams had the talent that could have landed him jobs at ad agencies or in the television or film industry, had he finished school.
"He could've done a million things," she said.