For years, Lenny B. Robinson who is known as Route 29 Batman, dressed up as Batman and driven his custom-made car to deliver moments of happiness and distraction to hundreds of sick children at area hospitals.
His costume stored in the Batmobile but his alter ego never entirely switched off, Robinson gave the kids at the gas station some superhero paraphernalia before driving off.
Minutes later, Robinson pulled over with engine trouble on an unlit stretch of Interstate 70 near Hagerstown, Md., police said. The people he had just met parked behind him, turning their emergency lights on.
His car was stopped in the median but still “partially in the fast lane” when he got out to check the engine, according to state police. Around 10:30 p.m., a Toyota Camry slammed into the Batmobile, propelling the steel-framed hunk of black metal into his body. Robinson, 51, died at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed. The driver of the Camry, who was not injured, declined to comment.
Who is Route 29 Batman?
Robinson made his money in the cleaning business. He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, his brother said, on his ’60s-style Batmobile, a costume that seemed more real than those in the movies, and the trinkets he handed out to children, always autographed “Batman.” It took him about 45 minutes to put on the black eye makeup and his cumbersome superhero uniform, which drained him of five to six pounds in water weight every time he wore it.
He first started wearing the costume because one of his sons, Brandon, was obsessed with the character. But when he saw how children reacted, Robinson found a new purpose.
The good deeds he did in character were, in some ways, penance for a temper that had led him to fights and run-ins with the law years ago.
Robinson worked closely with Hope for Henry, a D.C. organization that helps sick children.
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