Batman has thwarted the attempts of villains to end his life time and again, but on Sunday “Batman” was killed, in a roadside accident in Maryland after a car hit his Batmobile that had broken down.
Lenny B. Robinson, 51, commonly known as the “Route 29 Batman,” had dressed as the famous comic book superhero for years and driven in his custom-made car to cheer up hundreds of sick children at hospitals and distract them from their hardships, reports the Washington Post.
He was driving in his Batmobile on Sunday with his costume stored away ready to be whipped out if needed, when the unique black vehicle hit engine trouble and forced him to pull over on an unlit stretch of Interstate 70.
Several people he had met minutes earlier at a gas station where he handed out superhero goods to kids pulled up behind him and turned on their emergency lights, and with his car in the median but still “partially in the fast lane” he got out to check under the hood, according to police.
But then a Toyota Camry crashed into the Batmobile, and the impact of the collision sent the vehicle into Robinson, killing him. The crash is under investigation with no charges filed yet; the driver of the Camry was not wounded.
The bereaved family and friends of “Batman” gathered on Monday at his parents’ home in Owings Mills, Maryland, to mourn the loss.
Robsinson was a unique figure; he was divorced and his three sons lived in New Jersey, but he made the long drive to pick them up every weekend and bring them to his home outside Baltimore.
Having made a decent amount of money in the cleaning business, he invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in his retro-style Batmobile, an expensive and detailed costume, and goods he signed as “Batman” that he handed out to children – all to bring some cheer to sick kids.
Robinson, who worked closely with a Washington DC organization Hope for Henry that provides aid to sick children, had a long and tiring routine getting into character.
Putting on the bulky uniform and black eye makeup took 45 minutes, and wearing the heavy suit caused him to lose five to six pounds in water weight every time he donned the garb of the Caped Crusader.
He leaves behind countless stories of how he touched the lives of people in hospitals throughout the region.
“Batman” gained fame three years ago after Montgomery County police pulled him over on Route 29, driving in a black Lamborghini in full costume. Video of him being pulled over for his license plates – which bore the Batman symbol on them – made him an internet sensation, but his identity had been secret until now.