LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A 32-year-old man killed in a cycling accident in Mississippi on Tuesday was riding cross-country to raise money for children’s cancer research.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Travis Luck said James M. Dobson was hit by a vehicle while riding on U.S. Highway 98 near WPA Road in Lamar County just before 1 p.m.
Luck said Dobson was heading west on the highway when he was hit from behind by a 2016 Dodge Challenger. Dobson died at the scene.
More than a thousand miles away, Dobson’s family was heartbroken when they heard the news.
“Three state troopers knocked on my door and informed me. I don’t think it’s really hit me,” said his mother, Cindy Dobson.
Dobson was raised in Maine but lived in New Hampshire and had been on the road since Oct. 1. That was the day he left Dover, NH on a ride to San Diego, CA to raise money for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The ride was called the Positive Vibes Tour.
When his ride began, Dobson had a goal to raise $10,000 for the kids at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire.
“He kept pushing that he wanted to raise 10,000," said his aunt, Diane Bouthot. "Now, we are almost at 8,000. As of last night, he only had 1,200. Then when it broke, people started donating.”
As of Wednesday night, more than $13,000 had been donated to the campaign.
Dobson documented his cross-country ride on his YouTube channel, James Dobson Vlogs.
His last video was posted Tuesday morning, and featured the previous days ride where Dobson crossed the state line from Alabama into Mississippi and made his way west through the towns of State Line, Richton, Petal and into Hattiesburg.
Before he and his riding partner stopped for the night, Dobson explained why he decided to make this ride.
“When people ask me why I ride in the rain or if I ride in the cold, and I tell them, ‘Yeah, I ride in the rain and cold,’ and the reason is, and I’d ride through the snow too, the reason is because those kids don’t have an opportunity to make a choice to get out of the hospital and not do the treatment. I feel like I have an obligation to ride. That’s why I ride,” Dobson said in the video.
Dobson’s aunt said his light will continue to shine bright after death.
“He just wanted to meet people and go across the country and tell everybody to always be positive,” Bouthot said.
The family is clinging to the comfort of knowing he was not alone during his last moments.
“The gentleman that sat with him, he told me he was with him and never left his side," Cindy said. "He was devastated when I talked to him. I thank him so much. At least I know my son was with someone. He had someone to be with.”
Dobson’s mother plans to continue her son’s goal of having a positive impact.
“Be positive and make at least 10 people smile everyday," Cindy said. "That was his motto and I’m going to try and make that happen.”
Dobson left his us with words to live by as he signed off his final video blog:
“I love you guys. Stay happy, stay humble and make somebody smile."