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Seattle man killed in Oregon on journey to dribble soccer ball to Brazil

In this photo from his Facebook page, Richard Swanson of Seattle is seen walking at the start of his journey to dribble a soccer ball to Brazil. He was hit and killed by a pickup truck Tuesday in Oregon. (Breakaway Brazil/Facebook)

A Seattle man who planned to dribble a soccer ball from the Puget Sound to Brazil was hit and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon Tuesday, just two weeks after starting his journey.

Richard Swanson, 42, was walking on the shoulder of Highway 101 when a Nissan pickup truck struck him from behind, Lincoln City police spokesman Lt. Jerry Palmer said.

Swanson, a graphic designer and self-avowed soccer fanatic, had said on his website and Facebook page he planned to spend over a year traveling through North, Central and South America before arriving in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

“It will be a trip of a lifetime where I will push myself further than I ever thought possible,” he wrote.

Swanson was dribbling a “One World Futbol”, a special ball from a company that provides balls to children in disadvantaged places whenever someone buys one of their own.

In a YouTube video, Swanson said he had two sons, 22 and 18.

“He died doin’ what he loved and that’s the only consulation I have” said his son Devin in a Facebook post.

Police are still trying to determine the cause of the crash. The driver of the truck is reportedly cooperating with investigators.

About the Author

Josh Kerns

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news. Email Josh at


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