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Round-the-world British cyclists killed in Thailand

Peter Root and Mary Thompson, shown in a family photo, died Wednesday when they were struck by a pickup truck in Thailand. 

Associated Press

Peter Root and Mary Thompson, shown in a family photo, died Wednesday when they were struck by a pickup truck in Thailand. 

A British couple's round-the-world cycling odyssey ended in tragedy when both were killed in a road accident in Thailand.

Peter Root and Mary Thompson, who had been chronicling their journey in a blog, died Wednesday when they were hit by a pickup truck in a province east of Bangkok, Thai police said Monday.

The truck driver faces charges of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

The couple, both 34 and from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, left Britain in July 2011 and had cycled through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China.

The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the couple, who met in art school and spent six years saving money and planning their journey, Peter's father, Jerry Root, told the Associated Press in an interview.

"They were both inspirational," Jerry Root said. "They didn't just talk about it; they did it. I couldn't be prouder of them."

He said they were experienced cyclists who knew the rigors and risks of extended bicycle travel.

"What helps me is to think of how happy they were with each other," he said. "They were leading the life they wanted."

The couple had been posting photos and details of their trip on the website Two on Four Wheels. They also had many followers on Twitter and Facebook who were tracing their journey and vicariously enjoying their adventure.

"They never talked about the trip as having a destination or a deadline or a time scale," said Ben Thompson, Mary's brother. "They didn't have firm plans; they had rough ideas. They just loved people. They were always dragging people to the campfire to share a story and a beer and some food."

Round-the-world British cyclists killed in Thailand 02/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 10:37pm]
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