Mark Haines, a prominent leader in the LGBT community and founder of the popular website Mark's List, was killed after being struck by three vehicles while walking after having had dinner with friends Friday evening.
Haines, 54, who hailed from Fort Lauderdale, had been in the Florida Keys with his father and brother as part of the SmartRide long-distance 165-mile bicycle race that goes from Miami to Key West.
The race is a benefit that raises money for organizations that help those affected with HIV/AIDS.
Haine's death was first reported on his entertainment website, Mark's List, by his nephew Matthew:
I am heartbroken to report that Mark Haines, my uncle, the founder and CEO of Mark's List, and a long-time leader in the Florida GLBT community, was killed last night. And yet, I tenuously reach for some ray of happiness in knowing that he died while doing what he loved most. He was participating in the Smart Ride with his brother (my father), Stephen Lang (long-time Mark's List photographer), and hundreds of others. He died instantly, hit by a car while walking home from dinner after the best day and the best ride of his life.
Haines launched Mark's List after he moved to South Florida, which focuses on entertainment, travel, the nightlife scene, and interests that cater to the LGBT community.
A news release by the Florida Highway Patrol says Haines was crossing from the Gulf side of U.S. 1 to the ocean side around 7 p.m. Friday. He had walked in front of a truck. An SUV swerved to avoid hitting the pickup and also struck Haines. A third car involved in the accident also struck Haines. He died at the scene.
Haines had been walking after having had dinner at Hawk's Cay resort with friends. A friend said Haines had claimed this was "the best day of his life," per the Sun Sentinel.
Haines had been a prominent cyclist after having lost nearly 70 pounds riding. SmartRide, which included around 500 riders, had been his first long-distance organized ride.
Mark's List has set up a condolences page where people have left an outpouring of love and memories, Likewise, Haine's personal Facebook page has been inundated with condolences and comments commemorating his memory.
Haines, who had been living in South Florida since 2003, is survived by his brother, sister, and nephew. Funeral services are pending.