Marnie Scott, a Saultite who ran a Christian school with her husband Joe in Thailand, died Saturday when her bicycle was struck by an automobile as she was crossing the road.
Marnie and Joe Scott ran Victory Bible Academy in Mae Sot, Thailand, a ministry of Christian Freedom International and Growth and Opportunity Foundation of Thailand.
Joe is known to many in the Sault as an employee at Algoma Steel.
The missionary couple are avid cyclists and fitness enthusiasts.
The crash occurred about 500 kilometres south of Mae Sot, as the pair was vacationing in Kanchanaburi, home to the famous Kwai River Bridge.
Their daughters, Maija and Kiera, were travelling with them but were not present at Saturday's crash.
The collision was unspeakably violent, even for Joe, who served as a Canadian Forces captain from 1997 to 2013.
"I'll never unsee this," he tells SooToday.
"I saw her heart, and I saw its last beats. I'm so confused and hurt and I can't stop sobbing."
"We were out for a bike ride. She really wanted to go today. I was hesitant, but I agreed."
The missionary family was taking a final trip around Thailand before the youngest daughter Maija was to return to the Sault.
Maija and older sister Kiera will now fly back together early next month.
Marnie and Joe celebrated their 26th anniversary just four days ago.
Her birthday was one week ago.
"I'm so broken," Joe says.
"She was my world. My best friend since 13."
Late last month, Marnie competed in Thailand's first-ever gravel cycling race, placing third against athletes half her age.
"I've ridden longer distances and climbed taller mountains, but this race by far was the hardest thing I've done," she said.
"After being dead-last halfway through the race, suffering from some health issues, I managed to keep going and push to the end. First time ever on a podium for me."
Joe says Marnie was looking forward to the coming year at Victory Bible Academy.
Mae Sot is on Thailand's border with Myanmar – currently a global hot spot due to political tensions and high risk of civil unrest.
"Clashes between the military and armed groups are ongoing in several border regions. This has caused the displacements of hundreds of thousands of civilians to neighbouring countries," reports the Canadian government in a Myanmar travel advisory.
"The security situation along the border varies and can change quickly. Unmarked landmines can be found in many border regions and pose a significant risk to your safety."
"If you travel to border areas despite this advisory, exercise extreme caution, avoid concentrations of police and security forces as well as large gatherings and follow the instructions of local authorities."
"We have so many new students coming because of the fighting in Myanmar," Joe tells SooToday.
"Our goal every year is to get the persecuted to help the poor, so that more people might get to know Jesus."