updated 10/23/2007 3:06:38 PM ET 2007-10-23T19:06:38

A woman on the last leg of a cross-country bicycle ride to raise awareness for brain injuries was killed along with a fellow cyclist after an SUV collided with them on a rural highway.

Lee Anne Barry, who had ridden thousands of miles since beginning the ride in the summer, and Thomas Hoskins, who joined her on the last portion of the journey, were hit Sunday on U.S. Highway 521 in Lancaster County, just south of the North Carolina line, Coroner Mike Morris said on Monday.

Hoskins, 49, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Barry, 43, died later at a hospital, Morris said.

The crash is under investigation, said Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Few details, including the driver's name, were immediately released. The driver was not hurt.

Barry and Hoskins, who were wearing helmets, were close to Charlotte, N.C., where the ride was to end, and just seven miles from Barry's home in Waxhaw, N.C., when they were hit.

As a child, Barry spent several months in a coma after being hit by a car, eventually undergoing brain surgery to help her regain speech and physical movement, according to a Web site for The B.I.G. Ride, a charity group she founded in 2001.

Through The B.I.G. Ride — which stands for Brain Injury's Greatest Journey — Barry and her husband organized cross-country charity bike rides helping raise awareness about brain injuries and cycling safety.

The 2007 tour began Sept. 7 in Great Falls, Mont., and was to have passed through 15 states by the time Barry reached Charlotte, according to the group's Web site.

Hoskins had participated in charity rides for 20 years, raising money for a variety of causes and often riding with Barry on The B.I.G. Ride's final leg, his family said in a news release Monday.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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