Bike advocate from Rodgers Forge hit by car in Delaware

A Rodgers Forge man who was known for his cycling advocacy across the region was hit by a car while riding his bike Tuesday morning in Delaware, police said.

According to Delaware State Police, Wayne Thomas Blanks Jr., 38 of Rodgers Forge, was riding his bike Tuesday morning in Frankford, Del., when a motorist driving on the same side of the road hit him with the mirror of his car.

Blanks, known to friends as Tom, was thrown from the bicycle and into a wooded area off the road, police said.

Police said the driver of the vehicle did not stop and wait at the scene, and Blanks was airlifted to Christiana (Del.) Medical Center, where he is listed in fair condition.

Blanks' bike was equipped with a rear flashing light, and he was wearing a helmet, police said.

Stu Sirota, president of the Rodgers Forge Community Association, said that Blanks is active in both the Rodgers Forge community and cycling community.

Sirota said Blanks is an active member of Rodgers Forge's Safe Routes to School committee, which promotes safety for the neighborhood's students who walk to school.

Blanks also served on the board with him at the advocacy group Bike Maryland, and commutes on his bike every day to his office in the Inner Harbor, Sirota said.

Carol Silldorff, director of Bike Maryland, said Blanks had recently moved into an advisory role for the non-profit organization.

"A lot of people ride bikes, but not a lot of people are as passionate about bicycle safety as he is," Silldorff said. "We all hope that he recovers.

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