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Catholic University coach killed after being hit by truck during charity bike ride

A Catholic University athletics staffer participating in a cross-country charity bike ride died Friday after she was hit by a truck on a road outside of Lexington, Ky., according to a statement from the school.

Jamie Roberts, 24, a Rockville native and 2011 graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was taking part in a ride of more than 4,000 miles from Baltimore to Portland, Ore., when she and another person were struck by a vehicle. Roberts was changing a bike tire on the side of U.S. 25 outside Lexington in Scott County when the incident occurred. Roberts died at the scene and the second, unidentified victim was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Roberts, a three-sport varsity athlete at St. Mary’s, had served at Catholic as an assistant sports information director and assistant coach of the women’s basketball team since 2011. At the time of her death, she was taking part in the Ulman Cancer Fund’s 4k for Cancer charity ride. Last year, the ride raised about $775,000 to support young adults with cancer, according to the event’s Web site.

“It came as little surprise to anyone who knew Jamie when she quietly revealed how she had taken up the daunting challenge of riding her bike some 4,400 miles from Baltimore to Portland to contribute to improving the quality of life for others,” Catholic athletic director Sean Sullivan wrote in a statement. “With little fanfare, she took on this remarkable physical and emotional quest because she felt as though others were in need and she could help.”

Roberts wrote on her fundraising Web site for the event that she was inspired to participate in the bike ride in honor of her grandfather, who died of lung cancer. She also wrote that she was dedicating the event to a college friend whose parents were both diagnosed with cancer.

“I hope that through my fundraising and the ride itself that I can help raise awareness and make a difference in someone’s life,” Roberts wrote. “I would love nothing more than to inspire someone else.”

Roberts was born Oct. 24, 1989, in Rockville. After graduating from the private Barrie School in Silver Spring, she received a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Mary’s, where she played as a defender on the lacrosse team. She also served as a captain and goalkeeper on the school’s soccer team and captain and forward on the basketball team.

Survivors include her parents, Bob and Eveline; a brother, William, and a sister, Julia.

According to a statement from the event’s organizers, Roberts’s family has requested that donations be made in her honor to the Ulman Cancer Fund.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.



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