HAGERSTOWN, Md. — A man who dressed like Batman for visits to children’s hospitals in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., was killed Sunday night in a traffic accident following a weekend in West Virginia.
Lenny Robinson, 51, of Ownings Mill, Md., apparently had an engine problem with his custom-made Batmobile while traveling on Interstate 70 near Hagerstown. He stepped out and was in the middle of interstate when an approaching vehicle slammed into the back of the car, which then struck Robinson. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Known as the Route 29 Batman, Robinson had spent the weekend at SummerFest in South Charleston.
“He was just a tremendous individual. He just stood there for hundreds and hundreds of children and grown-ups to take a picture with them,” SummerFest executive director Bob Anderson told MetroNews on Monday. “He was just a genuine person.”
He also made a visit to CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston back on Friday, one of hundreds of visits Robinson would make a year to similar hospitals where kids were suffering from cancer and other diseases. His organization was superheroesforkids.org.
Robinson’s $300,000 Batmobile was clearly the favorite in SummerFest’s car show, Anderson said.
“It’s just shocking to have him here, we loved him so,” Anderson said. “He loved the people. He loved West Virginia. One of the state policemen stopped him on the way down and he (Robinson) said, ‘What did I do wrong?’ The trooper said, ‘Nothing, I just wanted to get a picture of you and the Batmobile with me,'” Anderson said.
Robinson became an Internet sensation in 2012 when he was pulled over by police because of a license plate problem. The video from the police cruiser’s camera went viral because Robinson was fully dressed in Batman costume at the time.
Just before Sunday night’s deadly accident, Robinson had stopped at a gas station where he had given kids some of his superhero paraphernalia, the Washington Post reported.