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Smithsonian youth educator killed while walking along Beltway

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By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 9, 2010; 7:53 PM

A well-known teacher at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center was killed Monday night after he was struck by a large truck while walking in the northbound lanes of the Capital Beltway in the College Park area, according to state police, family members and center officials.

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Joshua M. "Tigger" Beasley, 37, of University Park was hit by the tractor portion of a tractor-trailer while walking on the normally busy interstate near Route 1 just before 9 p.m., authorities said. Police said they discovered Beasley lying unresponsive on the road's right shoulder and transported him to a nearby hospital, where he died. It remains unclear why he was walking along the highway, police said.

Police identified the truck's driver as John W. Broderick of Crofton. Broderick, 57, has not been charged with any crime.

Beasley was a popular teacher at the enrichment center, a children's educational program within the Smithsonian museum complex, said Michael Beasley, his father.

Beasley said his son, who worked at the center for 12 years and had master's degree from Johns Hopkins University, was a gifted storyteller and sketch artist who would adapt classic works of literature for kids.

"He could just keep little kids 5 and younger just wrapped for an hour in his story," Beasley said. "I guess just personally, Josh was irrepressible."

Beasley said he and his wife, Ann Beasley, were expecting their son for dinner Monday but he never showed. Beasley said a state trooper came to their door that evening, but he still did not know why his son was on the Beltway or what caused the crash.

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