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Died Instantly; Struck by Multiple Vehicles

Damian (Mark) Haines, 54, died Friday night after being struck by three cars as he was crossing U.S. 1 at mile marker 59.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol press release issued this morning, Damian (Mark) Haines, born in Jackson, Michigan, and moved to Brussels, Belgium in his pre-teen years, was crossing from the Gulf side of U.S. 1 to the ocean side when he walked in front of a 2011 Dodge Ram pickup truck around 7 p.m. last night.

The truck's left front struck Haines on his left side, throwing him into the center turn lane. A 2013 Ford Expedition swerved to avoid hitting the Ram and also hit Haines. A 2013 Dodge Avenger swerved trying not to hit the Explorer and ended up too hitting Haines. 

Tragically struck by three moving vehicles, FHP reported that Haines died instantly, at the scene of the impacts. All three drivers stopped and waited for police to arrive. 

Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kathleen McKinney only noted in its press release that Haines was in the Keys taking part in a bicycle race from Miami to Key West. She was unaware that Mark, who had lost 70 pounds to compete in the Smart Ride, was Rider Number 548. 

Many of the participants did not find out about Mark's passing until it was announced at the conclusion of the race on the White Street Pier in Key West on Saturday morning. The South Florida gay community, from Monroe to Palm Beach, has been crushed by his passing.

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