British cyclists Peter Root and Mary Thompson were killed in Thailand last week while on a round-the-world ride. The couple, who were both 34 years old, were struck by a pick-up truck while traveling east of Bangkok. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
After meeting in art school, Root and Thompson spent six years planning their trip and saving money to fund an extended stay on the road. They set out on their journey in July of 2011 and blogged about their adventures as they went. Their unique experiences garnered them a loyal following on Facebook and Twitter.
Like all of the best travel experiences, their long distance ride had no timetable or set destinations, although the two were planning on traveling to New Zealand once they had crossed Asia. Their travel had already taken them across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China.
Police reports indicate that the accident last week took place because the driver in the pick-up truck dropped the lid from his drink on the floor and reached down to retrieve it. He took his eyes off the road for only a moment and that was enough for his vehicle to hit the two cyclists. The truck then careened off the road and stuck some trees, injuring the 25-year-old driver in the process. He has been released on bail but now faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in Thailand.
This is a sad end to what was a wonderful adventure for these two travelers. Condolences to their families.
[Photo Credit: Peter Root and Mary Thompson]