MILFORD, Del. — A longtime Delmarva broadcast news executive died Friday from injuries sustained when he was hit by a truck while riding his bike.
Thomas H. Draper of Milford, Delaware, died at a Baltimore hospital after undergoing surgery the day before, according to the station he owned, WBOC-TV. He was 76.
The station said in a statement that Draper had celebrated his 50th anniversary in broadcasting Sunday. He got his start in 1967 with the purchase of a radio station, WTHD.
WBOC-TV is CBS affiliate and Associated Press member based in Salisbury, Maryland, with satellite newsrooms in Dover, Delaware, and Milton, Delaware.
Craig Jahelka, the president of Draper Media, said in the statement that Draper was among the few remaining solo, independent TV station owners nationwide, and that he and his family poured money into the station.
“It’s why WBOC is the smallest market station in the country to fly a newsgathering helicopter, operate three bureaus, produce both local news and a daily local talk show as well as a local outdoors show, and broadcast from a multimillion-dollar NewsPlex,” Jahelka said. The NewsPlex is the station’s more than 11,000-square-foot digital broadcast facility in Salisbury.
Delaware State Police are investigating the Thursday crash. They say Draper was cycling when he was struck by a pickup truck.
Police have said drug and alcohol use do not appear to be a factor. They said in a statement Friday morning that no charges have been filed.
Draper was initially taken to a Milford hospital and then flown to the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.