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27 May 2024

British world cycle couple dead in Thai crash


A British couple who were 18 months into a trip around the world by bicycle have been killed in a road accident in Thailand, police said Monday.

Mary Thompson and Peter Root from the British island of Guernsey had ridden across Europe and Central Asia, documenting their travels through countries including Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and China in film and on a blog.

Thai police said the pair, both in their mid-thirties, were travelling along the hard shoulder of a main road in eastern Chachoengsao province on Wednesday when a pick-up truck veered out of its lane and hit them, police said.

"They were tourists who had travelled through several countries before reaching Thailand," local police lieutenant Chaiyong Butrwan told AFP.

He said the 25-year-old Thai driver, who was arrested at the scene, had reached down to pick up his hat from the floor of the truck causing the vehicle to swerve into the couple.

The British Embassy in Bangkok said it was aware of the deaths and that the families had been informed.

"Consular assistance is being provided," a spokeswoman said.

Thompson and Root, who entered Thailand earlier this month, had biked across 23 other countries since starting out from Guernsey on July 12, 2011, according to their blog www.twoonfourwheels.com.

The Thai driver was released on bail. Police said he faces charges of causing death by negligence, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, or a 20,000 baht ($670) fine or both.