UK & World News

  • 30 April 2014, 5:15

Briton Killed On Round-The-World Charity Trip

A British woman has been killed in South America while on a round-the-world cycling trip with her husband.

Sharon Bridgman, who is thought to be 38, died after being hit by a van in Bolivia on Saturday.

Mrs Bridgman and her husband Tim, from Zeal Monachorum, near Okehampton in Devon, began their trip in June 2012 and had already travelled through Europe and Africa.

The pair were raising money for ShelterBox, which provides support for people affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.

Their fundraising total currently stands at more than 2,000.

In a statement released through the Foreign Office, Mrs Bridgman's family paid tribute to her.

They said: "We are extremely proud of Sharon and understood the risks she was taking but this was something she very much wanted to do.

"We are impressed with their dedication and determination to carry out this immense challenge and it remains a remarkable achievement."

Robert Szembek, chairman of Okehampton Cycling Club, of which they were members, said the couple had been on what was meant to be a "a great adventure".

"It is not what you expect to hear, especially when they went right through Africa and rode through some doubtful areas known for problems and had taken precautions like not camping by the road.

"Everyone appreciates the danger in cycling. But you think it is a big open road and not much traffic, you think they are going to be reasonably safe."

Mr Szembek added he was told the Bridgmans may have been travelling with another couple at the time and the driver of the vehicle had been arrested.

Mrs Bridgman was cycling a short distance either ahead or behind the others when she was hit, he said.

According to their blog, which she wrote, their "North 2 North Cycle Tour" was scheduled to take them to 32 countries.

According to their Just Giving page, they began their trip in Nordkapp in northern Norway on June 4, 2012, and arrived in Cape Agulhas in South Africa on November 19 last year.

From there they travelled to Ushuaia in Argentina to start a journey that should have ended in Alaska.

According to Mr Szembek, the only previous incident to affect the couple had been when Mr Bridgman's Thorn Nomad touring bike had been stolen in North Africa and he had to send for a replacement.

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