Richard Swanson, 42, was attempting to walk from Seattle, Washington, to Sao Paolo, Brazil, while dribbling a soccer ball when he was struck and killed by a truck off of the Oregon Coast.
Swanson left Seattle on May 1 and was travelling south by foot, staying with strangers he would meet along the way, although he spent two nights in Vancouver, Washington, with his adult son, Devin.
He spent Monday night with strangers who became friends, as all of his contacts did on his expedition, in Lincoln City soaking in a hot tub, then eating a gourmet breakfast. However, when he left the next morning and headed towards Newport, he was struck and killed by a truck around 10 a.m. along US Highway 101 near the city limits.
Investigators found some of his belongings among his things including his soccer ball, and they found that he had a website listed as breakawaybrazil.com. Police have not charged the drive. Swanson was declared dead at the hospital.
Friends and family are reeling at the news of Swanson’s death. He had two adult children, Devin and Raven, and had recently sold his home and was between jobs, so he had been looking forward to the trip that would take him to the 2014 World Cup.
Swanson’s trip would take him via foot through 11 countries before he reached his destination of Sao Paolo, Brazil, and would last longer than a year.
Swanson was hoping to promote the One World Futbol Project of Berkeley, California, on his journey of a lifetime. One World Futbol Project was inspired by children in Darfur playing soccer with a ball of trash rolled up with twine. Inventor Tim Jahnigen was inspired to design a ball that would never go flat. What he created was a blue ball that never goes flat and never needs a pump.
The One World Futbol Project is a non-profit organization with a mission statement that includes a “Buy One Give One” model. For every ball purchased at regular retail prices, the company donates a second ball to organizations working with disadvantaged communities around the world.
“‘We are deeply saddened to learn about Richard’s death,’ Lisa Tarver, chief operating officer of One World Futbol Project, said in a statement. ‘He was a very inspiring man who in a very short time walked his way into many lives. Our thoughts are with his family.’” (foxnews.com)
By Dawn Cranfield
Senior Correspondent/Product Specialist