• 48°

Kris and Ava: Journey ends on a sad note for bicyclist and canine companion

Kristopher Cotton, 36, was biking in the 7800 block of Savannah Highway near Charleston, SC around 1:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon with his dog, Ava, when both were struck by a vehicle traveling southbound.

Cotton and Ava had been making their way south on a bicycle journey from New York to the Florida Keys. Along their travels, which began in late May, the pair made a pit stop in the Outer Banks in mid-July.

According to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Cotton died at the scene of the collision. The CCSO press release stated that his dog “was injured,” and the Sheriff’s Animal Control Unit “transported the dog to a veterinarian.” The incident is still under investigation by the Charleston Traffic Division.

Jenda Cotton, Cotton’s mother, told The Coastland Times that Ava suffered stomach bleeding and a broken jaw. She reportedly arrived at the emergency vet clinic in a comatose state and has undergone surgery. Jenda said the next 24 hours are “crucial.”

Linda Lacey and Meg Risha have organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with expenses. “The funds are going directly to Jenda Cotton,” said Lacey. “We are asking for donations to aid in bringing him home, funeral expenses and the ever-growing vet bill for his fur baby, Ava.” The “Love for Kris” page may be accessed here.

Jenda shared that she intends to travel to Charleston to bring her son and Ava “back home,” as long as she can gather the funds to do so.

As for her home community, as well as community members of all the towns and places Cotton and Ava had stopped along their journey from New York to South Carolina, Jenda said everyone has been “so amazing.”

“Ava is a people person, and she was his ambassador,” she said. “They went everywhere together, and met so many people.” Jenda said she has received many phone calls and emails from those who had met Cotton; several of which are from the Outer Banks area.

Hosted by James Stainback, owner of Bike Barn, while in Kill Devil Hills, Cotton and Ava had settled in for about a week in their first-time visit to the area.

During their time here, The Coastland Times had met with Cotton and Ava to learn more about their travels and why they had decided to go on such an adventure. “It just puts a smile on my face every day and makes other people smile and I’m loving it,” he had said.

“He really did love it,” Jenda said. “I know he was doing something that made him happy.”

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS HERE.

UPDATE:

Ava’s road to recovery after tragedy

RELATED:

Outer Banks pit stop: Bicyclist and dog traveling from New York to Florida Keys take a breather

Currituck

Currituck 4-H program helps with weekend meals for students in need

News

First female Senate majority leader elected in North Carolina

Lifestyles

No turning back: How living in a van has led John Demer to extraordinary places and people

Lifestyles

Giving back to the sounds by recycling for reefs

Hyde

Christmas concerts with David Roach set in Columbia, Swan Quarter and Plymouth

Crime

Man gets prison time for false bomb threats made to schools

News

Gaddy Endowment Fund donates $100k to Manteo Middle School

News

Man dies after 50-foot fall in North Carolina state park

News

15-year-old boy dead, brother injured in North Carolina campground fire

Hyde

Portion of NC 12 on Ocracoke Island closed, standing water on NC 12 on Hatteras Island reported

Lifestyles

Checks presented to non-profits at Dare BOC meet

Lifestyles

Blood drive set for Tuesday and Wednesday in Kitty Hawk

News

Weekly North Carolina gas price update

Crime

Currituck man charged in Camden County and Elizabeth City armed robberies

News

Man shot by police after traffic stop in North Carolina

Crime

Police: Man charged with attempted murder in North Carolina machete attack

News

Manteo commissioners approve zoning text amendments, hear Town Common update

News

Dare Board of Commissioners takes steps to finance projects

Lifestyles

Rough-legged hawk: Rare visitor to the refuge

News

Governor’s school supply drive underway

Crime

Police: 65-year-old man found in Rocky Mount suffered multiple stab wounds

Crime

Police investigate fatal shooting near North Carolina baseball field

News

North Carolina man uses part of lottery win for Thanksgiving dinners

News

Tourism Board discusses next step for Event Site