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Retired VMI professor dies after pickup truck hits his bicycle

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – A retired Virginia Military Professor has died after being hit while riding a bicycle on Thursday morning. 

It happened just before 10 a.m. on Route 11 near Wind Lane in Rockbridge County. 

A 2005 Chevrolet Silverado was traveling north when it hit the bicyclist, who was also headed north, according to state police. 

The bicyclist, 64-year-old Lexington resident Col. Thomas S. Baur, was taken to Stonewall Jackson Hospital, where he died. He was a biology professor at the Virginia Military Institute from 1988 to 2013, when he retired. After he retired, he was still active at the institute. 

"Tom was respected by his students. They loved him. He impacted their lives," said Wade Bell, a professor of biology at VMI. 

Bell worked alongside Baur for 20 years. They were coworkers but also friends. 

"I think when you look at the kind of cadet and the kind of professional that the institute strives to produce, Tom Baur is who that is," said Bell. 

He also served on active duty and in the Army Reserve for a total of eight years, according to a statement on VMI's website. 

"Always quick to help you out. Always quick with a pat on the back. Very supportive," said Bell. 

Bell said he was not only a force in the army and on campus, but also in the community.

"When Tom left the office, he was just as loved and respected in the community as he was here," said Bell. 

Among his survivors are his wife, Judy, their two sons, Daniel and Stephen, and their families. Funeral arrangements are pending.

The driver was not hurt. State police have not announced any charges for him. 

The crash remains under investigation.