Man hit by truck while running across the country for a cause, not expected to survive

Grady Lambert was hit by a truck while running in Amarillo, Texas, while on a cross-country trek.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 11:32 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 11:35 AM EDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV/Gray News) - A Portland man running across the country to bring awareness to those impacted by the pandemic is expected to succumb to his injuries after being hit by a truck along a road in Texas earlier this week.

Grady Lambert’s parents, Mark and Julie, said their son was running from Cannon Beach, Oregon, to Hilton Head, South Carolina, a 4,000-mile journey, all for a good cause.

“He had always talked about running across cross-country,” Julie Lambert said. “So I kind of knew it was going to happen at some point. And of course, once again, he didn’t run it by us. He just said, ‘This is what I’m doing.’”

His parents were at Cannon Beach on March 16 when he set off on his journey. It was a moment that took a lot of preparation before heading east from Oregon.

“We wanted to make sure that he was sufficiently prepared because it was an enormous undertaking,” Mark said.

Along the way, Grady Lambert documented his journey on Instagram, making his way down to California, across Arizona and New Mexico, then into Texas. He raised thousands of dollars along the way for frontline workers and took pictures with nearly everyone he met.

“That was a hard day, watching your son leave on something that you knew was dangerous,” Julie Lambert said. “We recognized the danger of what he was doing.”

But his journey came to a tragic end in Amarillo, Texas, on Sunday. A truck hit him while he was running along a road in the city, leaving him with life-threatening injuries that his parents said he won’t survive. Mark and Julie Lambert will donate their son’s organs so he can help more people after he’s gone.

His parents said they are also setting up a scholarship in his name for students graduating from Lincoln Academy Alternative High School in his hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma. The money will be awarded to a student who is going to pursue a career in nursing. A scholarship, Grady’s parents said, is aligned with his mission of the journey he couldn’t complete.

Though he couldn’t complete his run, Mark and Julie Lambert said they are going to do it for him. Before he left, Grady Lambert told his mother in the car that if anything bad happens to him, to finish his journey.

“He said, so I want you to take my ashes and spread them from where I stop to the end,” Julie said. “So Mark and I will have an epic road trip and spread Grady’s ashes along the way.”

Mark and Julie Lambert said they’ll remember their son the same way as everyone else he met throughout his life, a warm, compassionate, young man who was always thinking about others.

If you would like to donate to Grady Lambert’s scholarship fund, click here.