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Friends Share Stories Of Woman Killed In Cross-Country Bike Ride

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(Credit: www.4kforcancer.org)
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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore woman is dead after being hit and killed as she and several other bikers took part in a cross-country charity ride to bring awareness to cancer research. It happened on a rural road in Kentucky.

Rochelle Ritchie spoke with the women’s basketball coach at Catholic University of America, where the woman was an athletic assistant.

The 24-year-old woman is described as a natural leader with a strong drive to make a difference.

Jamie Roberts wrote her goal in chalk to bike across the country–a dream she would start but never finish.

“She just was up for any challenge, especially a challenge that had such a rewarding impact on other people,” said one friend.

It was on a winding, narrow road in Kentucky where Roberts’ life would come to a tragic end.

“It is a very troubling situation,” said Deputy Jearl Porter.

Roberts, along with four other riders, were part of the Ulman Cancer Fund and were biking 4,000 miles from Baltimore to Portland to raise awareness for cancer research. They stopped on the side of the road to fix their bikes when a pickup truck rounded the corner, hitting and killing her.

“This is a very rural road, not much in the way of shoulders, a lot of curves and hills,” said Porter. “Which makes it dangerous for both people, vehicles and bicyclists involved.”

Roberts graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2011, where she majored in economics. She was a star athlete on and off the field. Her superb reputation caught the eyes of the athletic department at Catholic University of America, where she worked as an assistant coach.

“Weeks and months leading up to the trip, she was out biking–50 miles, 75 miles, 100 miles a day, just in preparation to make this journey across the country,” said Matt Donahue, Catholic University.

Former athletes say while it is sad Roberts won’t finish the race, they will do it for her. They’re calling it “Miles For Jamie.”

“Every time someone bikes or walks or whatever and they do #MilesForJamie,” said Emily Grabiak.

“Comforting, in a way, to know there is something we can do for Jamie and something that Jamie felt strongly about,” said another friend.

A number of donations have poured in for Roberts. Her family is paying it forward and donating the money to the Ulman Cancer Fund.

Law enforcement officials in Kentucky have not said if the driver will face any charges.

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