LINCOLN CITY, Ore – A man attempting to dribble a soccer ball from Seattle to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup was hit by a pickup truck and killed as he walked through Lincoln City, Ore. on Tuesday.
Richard Swanson, 42, was walking on the shoulder of Hwy 101 around 10 a.m. when he was hit from behind by a Nissan pickup truck, according to Lincoln City police spokesman Lt. Jerry Palmer.
Medics took Swanson to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Swanson set off from Seattle on May 1 with the goal of dribbling a soccer ball all the way to Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was documenting his progress on his website and Facebook page.
“I will spend over a year traveling through North America, Central America, and South America before arriving in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup,” Swanson wrote on his website. “It will be a trip of a lifetime where I will push myself further than I ever thought possible.”
Swanson planned to visit eleven foreign countries – Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia then end in Brazil.
He was dribbling a “One World Futbol” along the way. That is a special ball designed to be used in any conditions around the world. When you buy one of the balls, the company gives a second ball to a child in a disadvantaged community somewhere in the world.
Palmer said there was no indication that Swanson was dribbling the ball when he was hit.
On Tuesday afternoon a message announcing Swanson’s death showed up on his Facebook page.
“His team, family, friends and loved ones will miss him and love him dearly,” the post said. “You made it to Brazil in our heats, Richard.”
The driver of the pickup truck that hit Swanson is cooperating with police, Palmer said. Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. There is no word yet if any criminal charges will be filed.
Swanson posted a YouTube video explaining why he was taking this trip: