William Campbell

William Campbell is on the left.

William Campbell always prayed before meals, Oscar Bernatzky Greising, who used to work with him, said in a Facebook message.

Campbell, who died after being struck by a car while bicycling Friday, was also honest, Bernatzky Greising said. They worked together at Mt. Airy Bicycle and would sometimes take walks or go out to eat.

“He was a very good person, always in a good mood and willing to serve customers of the store in the best way possible,” he said.

Officials at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore said Monday evening that Campbell had died.

Campbell, 59, was struck while riding north on Md. 27 near the Interstate 70 overpass after leaving work at Mt. Airy Bicycle, said his manager, Larry Black. Campbell was about a mile away from the bike shop.

Black said Campbell was flown to Shock Trauma.

Mount Airy’s resident Maryland State Police troopers declined to comment, citing their ongoing investigation of Campbell’s death.

Campbell’s brother, Wetzel Campbell, said Monday that they had been estranged for about nine years. He didn’t know about his brother’s bicycle crash until Sunday night, when police contacted him.

Campbell, known as Willy to his co-workers, traveled the same route for years. Black said he was riding alone, heading to the grocery store or Wal-Mart.

“He has one of the best-lit bikes in the area,” Black said. “That is a dangerous stretch. I have ridden it for years, and there’s serious crisscrossing of undecided traffic.”

Campbell has been a member of the Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene and was an employee of the bike shop for the last five years, Black said.

Campbell was a popular employee at the shop. One Mount Airy resident appreciated Campbell’s desire to help customers.

“He was just a kind, soft spoken, great listener love of a man,” Susan Sager wrote in a message to a reporter through Facebook. “He worked outside under the tent doing whatever needed to be done and was happy to drop everything and help a customer. ... We literally talked about going there for small business Saturday to see him and buy something. Anything just to stop by and see him.”

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler. Follow Brandi Bottalico on Twitter: @brandibot.

(7) comments

Fred Erick

I hope the police investigation, and the Post's coverage, will address the cause. Was there criminal negligence by the driver? Is there a critical design flaw in the road?

LarryBlack

Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene will hold a service for Willie this Sunday.lunch at noon, service at 1
I suggest everyone make a donation for their generosity.
The annual New Years Day ride in Mt Airy will be dedicated to Willie and we will hold a ghost bike ceremony at the scene
We are all shocked and saddened.

WangoTango

Thank you for the info, Larry.

WangoTango

How so very tragic. I will miss seeing him at the local Safeway. Rest in Peace.

jgriffin13

I saw him almost every day on the same bike route. RIP to Willy

Fredmd21704

sorry to hear about this, RIP Sir.

CDReid

Such a shame, RIP sir.

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