Tributes paid to Bristol artist Mary Thompson killed on Thai cycling trip
RELATIVES have paid tribute to an "inspirational" artist from Bristol who was killed in a road accident in Thailand.
Mary Thompson died with her partner Peter Root when they were hit by a pick-up truck during a round-the-world cycling trip.
The couple, who were both 34, met at art college in Cornwall 14 years ago and lived together in Guernsey before they went travelling just over 18 months ago.
The couple had travelled across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and were planning to go to New Zealand. They kept family and friends informed with a blog called Two on Four Wheels.
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Following their death on February 13 the mother and brother of Miss Thompson, formerly of Fishponds, flew from Bristol to Guernsey to be with Mr Root's family.
Speaking to reporters in the Channel Islands, her brother Ben said:
"They inspired not just each other but loads of other people, too.
"All over Bristol and all over the world, everybody read their blog. We've had tributes pouring in."
He said the couple's trip had not just been about seeing the world.
"It was about experiencing life, the simple pleasures," said Mr Thompson. "A simple wave and a smile would make them just as happy as an awe-inspiring scene."
A film the couple shot as they travelled had been accepted for a festival in America called Filmed By Bike, according to movie industry newspaper The Hollywood Reporter. It said festival organisers planned to pay tribute to the couple.
Relatives are still waiting for details of when the couple's bodies can be released for repatriation.
Thai media have reported that the driver of the pick-up truck that hit the couple told police he had been reaching to pick a cap up from the floor of his vehicle when it collided with them. He is reported to have been released on police bail, pending a charge in relation to the accident.