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Paul Ancell, pictured just hours before his death on Phuket in a crash

Brit Crashed Bike on Phuket Bend While Drunk, Coroner Told

Saturday, October 5, 2013
PHUKET: A British man who hopped on a powerful motorcycle while drunk and rode to his death on Phuket wanted to be a martial arts fighter, a coroner heard this week.

An inquest in Britain was told that Paul Ancell, 30, was only wearing shorts and no helmet when he came off the powerful Yamaha on a notorious stretch of Phuket road.

He left behind a five-year-old daughter who still misses her dad, theargus.co.uk reported.

When Ancell crashed his rented motorbike on a bend near Wat Ladthi Wanaram in Chao Fa Road East, Chalong, on April 21 he was two times over the drink-drive limit.

His death on the final day of Phuket Bike Week 2013 followed the deaths of two Malaysian riders. One was killed on the way to the event and the other while beginning the ride home from Phuket.

Mr Ancell's dream was to become a full time Thai kick boxing and cage fighter and he was training at Phuket's Tiger Muay Thai academy.

As with so many cases of death or serious injury on the balmy holiday island, his family struggled to raise the money to have him transported home.

A friend, Andrew Alderson, who provided a written statement to the Brighton court, told how a group of mates had gone for a drink in a sports bar in Phuket that evening.

As others began to walk home, Mr Ancell is said to have ''jumped on his bike'' and ''shot off down the road'' before anyone could suggest alternatives.

Five minutes later, Mr Alderson received a call from a mutual friend to say Mr Ancell had crashed. Thai police found him to be travelling ''at speed'' before hitting a road barrier and being thrown from the bike.

His family, forced to raise the money to have his body flown home, warned others to wear protective equipment on motorbikes and to have travel insurance.

Outside court, Mr Ancell's aunt, Gina Measor, said: ''He was a gentle giant really. His passion was martial arts but above everything else he was a loving dad.

''His five-year-old Cayleigh is finding it difficult. She gets upset when she sees other children with their dads.''

Mrs Measor added: ''I want to get across just how important it is to wear a helmet and protection.

''This also shows how important it is to have insurance. If it wasn't for the kind-hearted donations from the community we may never have had him back for a funeral.''

Coroner Karen Henderson recorded an accidental verdict. For reasons that have never been explained, officials on Phuket stopped releasing monthly updates on the road toll in April last year.

Phuketwan supports the Mothers or Motorcycles (MoM) road safety awareness campaign and 100 percent helmet usage for motorcycle riders.

Comments

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As others began to walk home, Mr Ancell is said to have ''jumped on his bike'' and ''shot off down the road'' before anyone could suggest alternatives.

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Observations are that a common habit Thai patrons of bars is when they enough drunk to be unable to walk, then they are eager to drive, still being able to position themselves onto bikes or behind a wheel in a car, and accelerate fast.You observe such scenes virtually every weekend at every crowded enough establishment where locals go for entertainment.
And for foreigners it is easy to get infected by such culture, that is what probably has happened to Paul.

Back in Europe I am unable to imagine that people in *such* condition, with apparently impaired ability to move their hands and feet would be not dragged off the car by member of a public, if any observes.

Most important is prevention of accident, not mitigating of its consequences - helmets etc. - yes, important, but more important not drive under influence, and not to drive motorbike at all under unsuitable road conditions, like on not well lit road have proper visibility of hazardous road conditions and obstacles on a way.

Posted by Sue on October 5, 2013 09:01

Editor Comment:

Absolute bollocks. Trying to blame Thailand for this man's tragic death is pathetic, Sue. Perhaps you never get to see outside the bars? As countries go, Thailand is less obsessed and less addicted to alcohol than virtually every Western country. Visitors do not get ''infected by such culture.'' They bring it with them and spread it liberally here.

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"As countries go, Thailand is less obsessed and less addicted to alcohol than virtually every Western country"

You have got to be kidding. Thailand has a massive alcohol problem. Coming from the USA I have never seen anything like it. Entire villages will start drinking at 7am. I have never seen so many alcoholics in my life. And I am talking about Thais, not the drunken farang that are also extremely common. Not to even mention the extremely widespread use of meth. Thailand has one of the biggest substance abuse problems in the world. I have to say, I have never seen anywhere else that is so accepting of the abuse of alcohol.

Of course it is ridiculous to blame Thai booze culture for this guy's death. We have all seen drunks insisting on driving themselves home. It is the nature of alcohol, booze makes people feel invincible. If anything the lack of law enforcement makes it slightly more likely to happen here. I know multiple expats who remain in Thailand because of the lax drunk driving laws. They can go about their business on a daily basis behind the wheel with an alcoholic drink in the cup holder. Fact.

Posted by BigP on October 5, 2013 10:00

Editor Comment:

''Entire villages will start drinking at 7am. I have never seen so many alcoholics in my life.''
Really? Women and children too?
That's what you are saying . . . unless what you are saying is a total exaggeration. And it is.

''I have never seen anywhere else that is so accepting of the abuse of alcohol.''
Oh really? Then how come national laws forbid its sale during some hours of the day?
There is no ''booze culture'' in Thailand. You are confusing it with the West.

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@Ed

As I said,my observation % of Thai patrons who being drunk and being barely able to walk, but still drive, is incredibly high vs. Europe.
This has nothing is not what you measuring, number of drunk patrons in general and consumption of alcohol.
\
those Thai patrons who drive away from bars behind a wheel, being so much intoxicated as not being able to walk properly, is what you would not see in Europe: yes, people in Europe in general becomes drunk to higher degree and in numbers, but absolutely very few drive car themselves under such condition. In Northern Europe I am sure if crowd will see that someone hardly walking out of club/bar etc. getting into the car as a driver, it is very probable he would ejected. Those drunkard they usually take taxi or public transport, they do not drive. In general people do not arrive to parties where they are supposed to drink alcohol, in cars anymore.

Yes, many people in Europe still drive under influence, but not when they have so much alcohol in blood when they can not walk.
But if your caught with more that 0.5 per milles of pure alcohol in the blood (it is more than 0.5l of beer within 1-2 hours), then you get 5-14 days of mandatory incarceration, and monetary penalty of appr. 1-2 average monthly salary, very few dare to risk.

% of Thais patrons who hardly can walk, but drive off the bar, is incredibly high. And that infects those foreigners who would never drive at home under such degree of intoxication. That is how behaviour of particular people is influenced, by observing roles plays of Thai patrons.

General historical annals, that you referred, that alcohol consumption culture is introduced and developed by Westerners has no direct impact on behaviour very drunk Thais often drive themselves, and early or later start to mimic it himself.

Posted by Sue on October 5, 2013 10:04

Editor Comment:

What you are really talking about is law enforcement, Sue, and in Thailand people are left to make bad choices for themselves when drunk.
Some of your comments are longer than the articles. Please be concise.

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"And for foreigners it is easy to get infected by such culture, that is what probably has happened to Paul."

Please don't try to blame something like this on somebody else, especially a whole nation. He made a mistake, and paid for that with his life unfortunately, but it was he and he alone that made the mistake.

Posted by stevenl on October 5, 2013 10:19

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I make it short,
big bike + drunk + thailand + no helmet = coroner

Posted by toin on October 5, 2013 12:42

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@ ED Big P is Right , Don't Blind your eyes, Thailand is the Most Country all over Asia , to consume Alcohol, it is well know Thailand drink heavy alcohol and consume a lot more the the average even more then Japan , Chinese and any other Asia Country , maybe Ed you need to take some Book and acknowledge about where are you living in !!

Posted by PaulG on October 5, 2013 13:23

Editor Comment:

My eyesight is fine but I worry about yours, PaulG. I go to a different restaurant every night of the week and I'm often the only one drinking alcohol among perhaps 60 people. The other 59 are all Thais. You live in the wrong places.

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Ed, don't know where you eat but in Isaan the alcohol consumption outweighs any place I have been in the world. I am from Oz and have travelled through Europe and a lot of Asia. I have left nightclubs where police are out the front and laughing at drunks trying to start and then falling off their bikes only to eventually take off at full speed. I have seen men and women blind drunk in the morning and Songkran is something to be seen to believe. The village where my wife comes from is worse than an Australian mine camp.

Posted by Peter on October 5, 2013 14:49

Editor Comment:

Isarn may be exceptional. I've been visiting Thailand since the '80s and never seen large numbers of Thais drinking excessively . . . although I did see one rider fall off his bike at Songkran and have been on the back of a motorcycle taxi with a drunken rider.

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Lets blame Thai culture, the brewers, the bar owners. I do not think so.
Sadly this man made a decision, admittely a very bad decision but HE made it and any consequence from that decision is his alone.
As I keep saying in Australia, take some responsiblity for your actions and stop blaming the world for your mistakes.
Nobody in Thailand forced this man to drink drive.

Posted by Arthur on October 5, 2013 16:01

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When Ancell crashed his rented motorbike on a bend near Wat Ladthi Wanaram in Chao Fa Road East, Chalong, on April 21 he was two times over the drink-drive limit.
@ ED what is the legal drink driving limit in Thailand? is there one and how do they test for it that stands up in a court.

Posted by slickmelb on October 6, 2013 01:12

Editor Comment:

The limit is 0.5. Random testing is applied from time to time at checkpoints on Phuket.

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Over the years I have had my disputes or should I say differing opinions with the Ed. He has made me angry so much so I have not posted for long spells. Alas Phuketwan actually tells it as it is it is the best source of true journalism on the island. on this occasion I am with him 100% no way can Thailand be held accountable for the amount of TW^^Ts that come here, If the person in question had done what he did in any western country maybe just maybe he would have been stopped before he wiped himself out.

Posted by Neill on October 6, 2013 01:44

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Not everybody is an alcoholic. That is the same in every country and in very village. There are and always will be people who prefer to drink alcohol, and there will always be people that really think nothing is going to happen to them. This happened to this guy as well. Do I feel sorry for this guy? Absolutely not, because it was his choice. But the fact is that there are now a whole family, children, and friends, that are mourning for him, and I can imagine they have a hard time to cope with this.

Posted by Charles on October 6, 2013 11:21

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So yet another guy comes to Thailand and totally ignores the law,and pays with his life. Drunk driving and no helmet.
How totally irresponsible can you be to behave like that with a young kid, and I assume a mother somewhere.
Sympathies to the fatherless kid.

Posted by JasonH on October 6, 2013 12:03

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Maybe if there was an functioning transport system here in Phuket he might had used that one and still be alive... Not blame anyone but him and absolutely not alcohol but the authorities could absolutely help to prevent all this drunk and drive.. just saying....

Posted by Frog on October 6, 2013 12:31

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I do not wish to get embroiled in any argument. I came to SE Asia in 1984 & have worked in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam & Myanmar. With the exception of indonesia, the rest are on par with Thailland when it comes to partying. Maybe some parts of Thailand like alcohol better than others. The big difference is that here in Korat the police hammer drink driving; but here in Korat you can take Song Taews for a mere 10 baht or the 3 wheel tuk tuks for approx 25% the cost of Phuket. There is no need to drink & drive. There is no bike rental either. The facts simply add up.

Posted by Logic on October 6, 2013 21:45


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