Tom Draper, broadcast pioneer and longtime owner of WBOC-TV on the Eastern Shore, died following a bicycle accident near Milford, DE.  He was 76.

According to Delaware State Police, a pickup truck hit Draper as he was riding his bicycle near his home outside Milford. The driver, a 37-year-old Lewes man, stopped immediately and called 9-1-1 and waited until help arrived.

Draper, who suffered critical injuries in the crash, was initially transported to Milford Memorial Hospital before being airlifted to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he underwent surgery, but he succumbed to his injuries.

“There are no words to express the profound grief the WBOC family feels at this time,” said Craig Jahelka, president of Draper Media, in a statement. “Tom was a broadcast pioneer, who said often those of us at WBOC have a moral obligation to serve the people of Delmarva. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his family.”

According to one media report, “Former WBOC sports anchor Scott Abraham said Draper was always “two steps ahead of the journalism game” and heavily invested in the community.

“”He viewed his station as providing a service across the peninsula,” Abraham said.

“Draper was one of the last of his kind, Abraham said, because he was a single station owner.”

WBOC-TV is a CBS affiliate based in Salisbury, Md.

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