Man involved in Christiansburg accident dies
The 23-year-old Blacksburg man hit by a pickup truck in Christiansburg last week has died, according to Christiansburg spokeswoman Becky Wilburn.
Wilburn said Joshua Leonard Carter died Friday, two days after the incident.
Carter was attempting to cross the southbound lane of North Franklin Street near a McDonald’s and the town recreation center when he stepped directly into the path of a 1991 Toyota pickup truck.
The driver was not charged, because police said there was nothing he could have done to avoid hitting Carter.
According to those who knew him, Carter, a mentally challenged man, competed in a variety of Special Olympics sports.
Southwest Virginia Special Olympics Coordinator Nancy Morehouse said the organization will honor Carter with a moment of silence at its basketball tournament this weekend at Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum.
Carter participated in many events, but had a love for basketball, she said. Dealing with the news of Carter’s condition has been “very crushing” to those who knew and worked with him, she said.
“He was very well liked, very fun loving. You couldn’t help but smile and laugh with him,” Morehouse said.
Carter has been participating in the Special Olympics for about five years, she said. According to Morehouse, he was fiercely competitive on the court, yet sociable with any team he played with or against. They’d sometimes have to keep a close eye on Carter at competitions because of how much he liked to mingle and work a crowd, Morehouse said.
The organization has unified sports, in which those with and without mental disabilities work together on teams.
He practiced with his team just last week, Morehouse said, and when word of his accident spread, several coaches and teammates went to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to show their support.
Carter’s infectious energy and enthusiasm will be missed most of all, Morehouse said.
“He would always say, ‘I can’t help it, I’m hyper’,” Morehouse said.
“He was a joy to be around.”
The Roanoke Times | 381-8621
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