Local sports legend born without legs killed in ATV crash in Dayton

Photo: Jim Witmer/Dayton Daily News
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Photo: Jim Witmer/Dayton Daily News

A Dayton man born without legs who gained national attention for playing high school football has died in an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle.

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Bobby Martin, 32, died from multiple trauma following an ATV crash, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. His death was ruled an accident.

The crash was reported around 8:35 p.m. at the intersection of Kammer and Crestmore avenues.

Dayton police Lt. James Mullins said Martin was heading west on Kammer Avenue in a stolen ATV when he failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with a minivan going north on Crestmore Avenue, which does not have a stop sign.

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Martin was thrown from the ATV and hit the minivan’s windshield before landing on the sidewalk, according to a Dayton crash report.

He was taken by Dayton EMS crews to Miami Valley Hospital, where he died.

No other injuries were reported.

Colonel White graduate Bobby Martin hold an action figure of himself that a Canadian Toy Company custom made for him after reading his story by Tom Archdeacon. Martin has been nominated for an ESPY award. Photo by Jim Witmer
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Colonel White graduate Bobby Martin hold an action figure of himself that a Canadian Toy Company custom made for him after reading his story by Tom Archdeacon. Martin has been nominated for an ESPY award. Photo by Jim Witmer

Martin garnered national attention in 2005 as a Colonel White High School senior for playing football despite being born without legs.

He was an inspiration to many, including his coaches, teammates and even opponents.

In 2017, a photo of him taken for a Sports Illustrated column was included in the publication’s 100 greatest sports photos of all time.