Teen bicyclist killed

September 25, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A 16-year-old Shepherdstown, W.Va., boy died late Wednesday after being struck by a pickup truck in a hit-and-run accident, according to West Virginia State Police.

The driver of the truck turned himself in at the state police barracks for questioning Friday, said Trooper D.W. Peal. The police refused to release the man's identity, pending charges. The accident is still under investigation.

The family and friends of Christopher Robert May take comfort in their Christian beliefs, said Deborah Helman, director of development at Faith Christian Academy, where May went to school.


"It's very difficult to convey to the public. You're sad about his death, but Chris, as a born-again Christian, is in heaven and that's a better place than where we're at," Helman said.

May was a junior at the school this year, where he has attended classes since the first grade, Helman said.

Faith Christian Academy has 227 students, including 65 in the high school.

Students gathered together Thursday to talk about May, consoling each other. May was a good student, who earned A's and B's. He also worked as a busboy and dishwasher at a Shepherdstown restaurant.

May also was a stand-out soccer and basketball player.

"This boy always had a basketball in his hands and a soccer ball at his feet," Helman said.

He was the leading scorer on his soccer team this season, which is currently 7-3. He played left wing.

It was a common sight to see May passing to his younger brother, Jason, a seventh-grader, or receiving a pass from Jason and then kicking the ball in for a goal, Helman said.

He also was a guard on the basketball team and dreamed of playing college basketball, then going on to the NBA, Helman said.

He not only contributed to the teams with his scoring, but with his words, Helman said.

May worked to make other players believe in themselves, she said.

"He encouraged them constantly to put forth their best effort," Helman said.

"He was a champion of the younger kids," said Anita Roselius, a family friend.

The teenager was riding his bicycle on W.Va. 45 on Wednesday about 8:25 p.m. when a pickup truck struck him from behind at the intersection of Old Martinsburg Road, about two miles outside of Shepherdstown, Peal said.

He was flown by helicopter to Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va., where he was pronounced dead at 10:15 p.m., Peal said.

"We're just thankful the Lord gave us the time he did with him. There's a purpose in this. We just don't understand it at this point," Helman said.

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