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NPR Arts & Life

Route 29 Batman Dies After Being Struck On Md. Highway

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Lenny Robinson wasn't really Batman, but he was real enough to the scores of sick children he visited in the hospital dressed as the Caped Crusader over the years. Washington Post reporter Michael Rosenwald was friends with Robinson.

MICHAEL ROSENWALD: He would walk in the room, and he would just - these kids - you could see a transformation in them in seconds - not even seconds - in nanoseconds.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Three years ago, the Maryland resident was pulled over by the police just outside of Washington, D.C., on his way to another hospital visit.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Southbound 29 at Prelude and, again, no tags. It's just got the Batman seal on the vehicle. It's a black Lamborghini and a driver dressed as Batman.

CORNISH: The dash cam video went viral, and the Route 29 Batman briefly became international news.

SIEGEL: Last night, Lenny Robinson pulled over with engine troubles on interstate 70 near Hagerstown, Md., and he was struck by another motorist and died at the scene. Again, Michael Rosenwald.

ROSENWALD: It's just heartbreaking to know that all of those kids that are still out there who are still, unfortunately, going to get sick, will not not be able to meet him.

CORNISH: Lenny Robinson was 51. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.