Rubber Duck Regatta founder dies in I-71 accident - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Rubber Duck Regatta founder dies in I-71 accident

Bob Edwards in July of this year at a kick-off event for the Rubber Duck Regatta. (FOX19) Bob Edwards in July of this year at a kick-off event for the Rubber Duck Regatta. (FOX19)
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Bob Edwards, the founder of the Freestore Foodbank's Rubber Duck Regatta, was struck and killed by a truck Thursday morning on Interstate 71.

Edwards, 80, founded the Regatta fundraiser in 1994 and was a recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Jefferson Award, considered to be the Nobel Prize for public service.

“Bob lived and breathed “Duck,” 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. His time, his passion and his commitment for feeding children helped grow the Rubber Duck Regatta into our largest fundraising event,” the Freestore Foodbank said Thursday afternoon on their Facebook page.

Edwards was driving southbound on I-71 in his Honda Accord when he pulled off onto the shoulder near Stewart Road, got out of his car and walked into traffic, according to witnesses.

Officials say a concrete truck driver attempted to swerve but struck Edwards. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is investigating why the Edwards was in traffic.

Edwards was reportedly on his way from one meeting to another scheduled meeting when the accident happened Thursday morning.

Edwards has two sons and a wife, Sylvia, who spoke with FOX19 NOW on Thursday and described her husband a "amazing." He also served as President of the Dan Beard Council before teaming up with the Freestore Foodbank.

"He's one of those mainstay volunteers the Boy Scouts have had in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky forever. Bob, in the 90s, was our top volunteer,” said Tom Dugger, CEO of the Dan Beard Council – Boy Scouts of America.

The Freestore Foodbank just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Rubber Duck Regatta last month where a record-breaking $1 million was raised.

Read the entire statement from the Freestore Foodbank here.

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