Family and friends grieve the loss of pedestrian hit and killed on Veterans Pkwy.

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 12:14 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -The man who was known to many around Columbus as the homeless ‘Dancing Man’. You may have seen him cutting a step along Veterans Parkway and singing.

He entertained people for years, it was what he loved to do on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, his life ended this morning in the same area where he danced for so many, according to police, he stepped into the road and was hit by a car traveling southbound.

It’s no secret Barksdale was homeless and has been for at least 35 to 40 years, according to his family who say that was a decision he made.

“That’s what I would remember him by his dancing...I would drive down here at 6 a.m. in the morning going to work and he would be at the McDonalds dancing,” said the victim’s cousin, Adren Stallion.

“He does have family that loves him dearly and we have been there for him every step of the way and I know that when people hear the word “homeless” it seems as if family have thrown him away but as a family we never threw him away,” said Stallion.

Stallion says her cousin never missed family gatherings, they would always pick him up for those events. They made sure he was fed and gave him money on a regular basis.

Leasah Griggs couldn’t hold back the tears as she talked about her beloved friend.

“I would see him everyday and bring him whatever he needed, toiletry, money, etc.,” said Griggs. “We became known as the Lisa and Red Show.”

Griggs learned Tuesday morning about Ronald Barksdale’s death.

Griggs put Barksdale also known as “Red” in the spotlight on Facebook, showing off his moves and his vocals.

Red would dance and entertain customers when he worked years ago at a car wash off Macon Road and 4th Avenue.

Police tell us the investigation is ongoing but they do not expect any charges to be filed. The driver stayed at the scene until police arrived, according to police.

A memorial is starting to build at the accident site.

A balloon release is planned by the community tomorrow at 7 p.m. and he will be laid to rest next Wednesday, July 21st following a service at 1 p.m. at Progressive Funeral Home.

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