A British couple has recently died in a tragic road accident that claimed both of their lives.
Peter Root and Mary Thompson, who had set out on a round-the-world cycling trip, died Wednesday when they were struck by a pickup truck on a road 70 miles east of Bangkok in Phanom Sarakham, Chachoengsao.
The couple left Britain in July 2011 and had already cycled through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and China.
According to CBS News, Peter’s father, Jerry Root, said that the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the couple. Peter and Mary met 14 years ago in art school and spent nearly six years saving money and planning the cycling expedition.
“They were both inspirational … They didn’t just talk about it, they did it. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Peter’s father said.
Both Peter and Mary were experienced cyclists, familiar with the risks involved in extended bicycle travel.
Peter’s father continued, “They were camping wild, as they called it … What helps me is to think of how happy they were with each other. They were leading the life they wanted to. It was the happiest, the most fruitful of lives.”
The couple regularly posted to a travel blog, Two on Four Wheels, where they showcased photographs and videos from the 23 countries they had traveled through.
Jerry Root was given the unfortunate news by Guernsey Police on Wednesday. He said that friends and family will be given notice about an upcoming celebration of the couple’s life.
Thailand is well known for its dangerous roads, with over 13,000 deaths and nearly one million injuries each year in road-related accidents.
The Daily Mail reported that Thai Police Lt. Col. Supachai Luangsukcharoen said investigators found their bodies, bicycles, and belongings scattered along the roadside with the pickup truck on Monday.
The truck driver, 25-year-old Worapong Sangkhawat, was seriously injured in the collision and told police that he struck the cyclists as he was reaching down to pick up a cap from the floorboard.
Sangkhawat has been released on bail and could face charges of causing death by reckless driving, which has a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.
Vachara Kannikar, Tourism and Sports Ministry spokesman, said, “We are sorry and would like to express our condolences to the couple’s families. The ministry will provide any assistance they need in order to retrieve the bodies.”
The couple’s last tweet:
Snaps from our travels in Cambodia – twoonfourwheels.com/photos?album=2… twitter.com/twoonfourwheel…
— Pete and Mary (@twoonfourwheels) February 10, 2013
Peter Root was born in Jersey, but grew up in Guernsey. Mary Thompson was originally from Bristol. Both of them were 34.