Alexandria

Beloved Cartoonist Struck, Killed While Crossing Street in Old Town

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A man who was known throughout the D.C. area for his satirical comics was struck and killed by a car in Old Town Alexandria Friday.

Justin Benedict, 55, was crossing South Washington Street at the intersection of Wilkes Street about 4 p.m. when a car struck him, police said.

Medics took him to a hospital, where he died a short time later.

Benedict volunteered as a cartoonist and editor for Street Sense and published a a blog called Vagrancy Comics. No public figure was safe from his fiery political and social satire.

Christine Axsmith says her late husband was a self-made man.

"Justin grew up in the DC foster care system and he dropped out in 8th grade," Benedict's wife Christine Axsmith said.

She said Benedict redefined what it means to be successful.

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"We need to reorient our thinking as to what is a success. A success is someone who's touched the lives of so many people and made them laugh when they were sad," she said.

Between drawing smiles from his fans, Benedict actively helped people struggling with addiction or in need of a home.

Fans, friends, and total strangers have reached out to Axsmith to share the depth of his positive impact on their lives.

"The measure of Justin's life is the community that he created around himself," Axsmith said. "He has a legacy that's going to last for many many years and I'm very proud to have been his wife and to have been part of that."

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