Friend: Man Killed on Cross-Country Bike Ride ‘Wanted a Bigger Purpose’

A cross country cycling trip to raise money for children battling cancer was cut short this week.

The New Hampshire man who started the journey in Dover was hit and killed by a car Tuesday while making his trek through Mississippi.

To meet James Dobson, a Maine native, was to find a positive new perspective. Just ask Chris Cortez, who will never forget their first exchange.

"While I am standing there talking to him, he's like, 'Hey, high five,' as people walk by, I'm like, 'Do you know these people?' and he said, 'No,' and I just thought, that's amazing," said Cortez.

The tragic loss of the man known for his golf course shenanigans and positive vibes is leaving heavy hearts for those who knew him best.

"You could never leave his presence feeling bad," said his friend Amanda Surette.

"If he didn't make you smile, then there is something wrong with you," said another friend, James Richesin.

The 32-year-old on a mission to make a difference came up with an idea to cycle from Dover to San Diego to raise money for kids with cancer.

"He wanted a bigger purpose, he was meant for more," Surette said.

On Oct. 1, he sat back and peddled out of town.

On Tuesday, authorities say while Dobson was cycling along Highway 98 in Lamar County, Mississippi, he was hit and killed by a passing car. His mom spoke with him not long before the crash.

"He said, 'I'm doing great, Mom, don't worry,'" said Cindy Dobson. "He said, 'I'll call you,' and I never got the call."

Dobson set out to raise $10,000 for Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. His GoFundMe page is up over $17,000 as of Thursday evening, and it's still climbing.

"His accomplishments and everything have made a lot of people proud," Richesin said.

Those people are proud to have known him and lucky to have learned his lesson about a life well-lived.

Dobson made that lesson clear at the end of each video he posted about his trip on YouTube.

"As always, stay happy, stay humble, I love you guys, make someone smile," Dobson would say before signing off.

Dobson's friends say they will eventually go to Mississippi, get on some bikes and finish the cross country journey that Dobson started.

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