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A deadly pickup ends a bicycle rider's Guinness dream in Thailand

Circling Cyclist Killed by Pickup

Sunday, February 22, 2015
PHUKET: A cyclist on a five-year journey to make the Guinness Book of Records has been killed by a pickup in Thailand, one of the world's most dangerous countries for travellers.

Chilean Juan Francisco Guillermo, 48, was killed on the main highway in Nakhon Ratchasima province about 1.10pm.

His Singaporean wife and their two-year-old son, Lucas, being pulled along in a two-wheeled cycling buggy, were injured.

Mr Guillermo had been photographed smiling broadly just hours earlier as he told locals of his incredible journey to cycle 250,000 kilometres across five continents. He started in November 2010 and his son was born along the way.

Police Col. Torsak Thammingmongkol told AP that the driver of the pickup was arrested.

British couple Peter Root and Mary Thompson on a similar round-the-world quest were killed in a crash in eastern Thailand in 2013 when a driver reached to pick up a mobile telephone.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


and what happened to the driver who killed the American couple, I believe I read nothing much.

Posted by Vfaye on February 22, 2015 12:26

Editor Comment:

British, they were.


Poor people, RIP for Juan, and hopefully complete recovery of the family.
TIT, this is Thailand, another 'international negative Thailand blow'. When thai police starts traffic law enforcement? Where on Phuket are the police officers with speed cameras and the breath testing equipment?

Posted by Kurt on February 22, 2015 12:38


RIP terrible news but don't worry there are no beach chairs in patong today so island is safe.

Posted by Ryan on February 22, 2015 13:18


Another utterly shameful and embarrassing tragedy on the streets and highways of Thailand.

Posted by Ed Sanders on February 22, 2015 15:45


If this doesn't shine a light on Thailand's horrifically poor driving standards I'm afraid that nothing will. This is nothing less than tragic: five years of cycling across the globe until he meets Thai 'driving' and then curtains. Heartbreaking and shameful!

Posted by Sam Wilko on February 22, 2015 18:40


This makes me so angry that I can not even be sad.

Four and a half healthy zears on the roads of the world, another six months until his record. Then he comes to Thailand and get wiped out from such an idiot.

I am a passionate cyclist, and I ride bike thousands of km in phuket every year without accident.

But the fact that I'm still alive, is nothing more than luck, I know.

Thailand's roads are dangerous, but Phuket is war area.

Thais and farang alike here are not able to just let the traffic flow sitting relaxed at the wheel and enjoy the nature and give way with a casual gesture.

Quality tourist do things like this.

I suggest to find a quiet place at the Kamala main road and just watch the traffic. Let's say one hour, best at evening 5-6 clock, between the two traffic lights.
Then you will understand what I mean.

War zone!

Poor guy, I'm in thought with him and hope he finds his peace in cyclists heaven.

Posted by Georg The Viking on February 22, 2015 20:05


yes lets not teach people to drive properly, we could put public service adds after every program on TV like they do in Japan and drum it into people heads to be careful that would be a start ... In Japan advertising companies makes these adds for free to show there skills and get future work

Posted by Capt Canada on February 22, 2015 20:29


Until and unless Thailand can begin using Radar speed control devices with fines for excess speed and careless driving , payable immediately , this unnecessary criminal carnage will continue unabated . Remember that Thailand is the second most dangerous country to drive in in the World..! We have NO speed limits , no stop signs , U Turns ok on 4 lane superhighways , no or few overpasses on super highways . Zero police presence on the highways other than the very occasional stationary document checks , enormous daily consumption of Red Bull drinks , ie : M150 , which is completely banned in several countries including France for safety reasons .Frankly it is
outrageous the way Thai drivers are permitted to speed excessively through school zones , market areas , pedestrian areas ,factory zones , etc , etc . Pedestrian crosswalks mean nothing to the Thai driver who thinks he always has the right of way .
Thailand must immediately purchase 5000 hand held radar guns , post speed limit signs and begin the bonanza of collecting on the spot fines ! Believe me I saw this work in Ukraine several years ago where the police did just that . The crazy driving literally stopped within a month
. And everyone was happy...especially the police....a newlyfound super tea fund bonanza if you will ! Now is safe to drive there , believe it .

Posted by sherlock on February 22, 2015 20:59


i feel very bad,i pray to god for Chilean Juan Francisco Guillermo & family,but Thailand govt should take some responsibility for achievers like Chilean in future.

Posted by Raju on February 22, 2015 21:11


As mentioned by others, how awful and so sorry for his family. Four and a half years of cycling across different continents and wiped out by a thai numpty just 6 months from the end

Great demonstration of driving techniques in this country sadly,

Terrible shame, so sad.

From Faye's comment, does anyone know what happened to the driver who killed the British (not American) couple. As so often with these cases it seems very hard to find out what (if anything) happened. Red Bull man still in singapore? The 16 year old Honda civic driver from bkk was let off from memory.

Posted by Amazing Thailand on February 22, 2015 22:38


Let's compare driver training times in Thailand with Canada.

In Thailand, it takes two days or less to get a driver's license.

In Canada it takes three years, or about 1,093 more days than in Thailand.

In Thailand, you're now required (starting in 2015) to take a one day training course, a written test and a driver's test, lasting about ten minutes. There's no instructor in the car with the new driver, as in Canada. They simply observe the student maneuvering in a parking lot. Then you're good to go.

One of my relatives failed the test three times, then paid the instructor to get a pass. This happens all the time. He recently was involved in a near fatal collision. Driving home intoxicated from a soccer game in Phuket, he crossed the median and hit a power pole on the other side of the road.
There was zero talk in the large family about drinking and driving, but there certainly was a family trip to the Wat Chalong to thank Buddha.

In Canada, a beginning driver has to pass a test, then they are required to drive with an experienced driver for one year. After one year they have another written and road test. If they pass that, they are a New Driver for the next two years. After three years, they take another written and practical test. Only then are they given full status as a driver.

The Thai system takes two days, or alternately, you can just pay for the license. The Canadian system takes three years, with a total of three written and two practical tests. In addition, new drivers aren't allowed to drive by themselves for one year.

It's no accident that Thailand has the second most dangerous roadways on the planet, and the most dangerous roadways in the world for motorcycles.

In Thailand, extremely lax driving training standards are just the tip of the proverbial fatality ice-burg.

Posted by farang888 on February 23, 2015 00:14


ENTIRELY too predictable. Somebody tell me the purpose of ANY traffic laws in Thailand when very few are ever enforced?? Just curious.

Posted by Nobama on February 23, 2015 02:17


No matter how sorry I feel for the guy and his family I do wonder what on earth he's doing cycling in Thailand with a two year old in a cycling buggy in a country with no cycling infrastructure and one of the world's poorest road safety records regardless of the transport of choice. A bicycle with a cycling buggy on a Thai highway with a two year old. Man, I'm almost as angry as I'm sad...

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 09:08


Happy We-Blame-The-Victims-Days on PW?

Mr. Anonymous, the pick up driver will be happy to use your argument.

Here is another one: Your fault. You not come Thailand you not have accident.

I really hope Juan's widow does'nt follow this thread reading your heartless and empathyless ramblings.

Posted by Georg The Viking on February 23, 2015 14:25


Mr. Viking, As I already wrote before I feel very sorry for what happened. Just as I do for all the others that die on Thailand's roads because they have no other choice but to use these roads. He had a choice and put his OWN life and that of HIS OWN family in danger on Thailand's statistically proven deadly roads. It's not a question of who is right or who is wrong here but a question of what is/was a sensible thing to do. Driving on a Thai highway with a bicycle and a 2 year old child is far from that. Not a license to be killed just not sensible. I'm sorry for him that he wasn't lucky enough to have made it to the end of his journey but feel immense gratitude that his two year old child will life to tell his tell perhaps one day.

Posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2015 16:21


To repeat this nonsense makes it not less heartless.
He decided for Thailands roads for his one in his lifetime event. Now he has been killed.
Leave him alone please.

Posted by Georg The Viking on February 23, 2015 20:47


Good morning Phuketwan readers,

Perhaps you also can't figure out whether Georg The Viking or Anonymous got it right in the dichotomy of their assertions regarding the fatal collision.

Let's just say they BOTH nailed it.. although ironically they agree to disagree..

Lets call it a draw, a tie, a saw-off, a Mexican stand-off. They're brothers in arms without being cognizant of it!


Kissing your Sister

Posted by farang888 on February 24, 2015 23:24


The way the case was dealt with and how his family were treated by the system,, the tactless handing over of a giant sized cheque at his funeral(!).. as a foreigner moving to Thailand shortly, the whole thing just makes me sick to the stomach.

Posted by will on May 18, 2015 05:29



where can I read more about this?

Posted by Georg The Viking on May 18, 2015 08:53


Poor Fella. RIP. but Anonymous has a point. how smart is it to put his family in fatal danger on one of the most notorious roads on earth? and a Main highway as well.. how many records he was trying to accomplish doesn't make him any smarter . neither responsible . GTW, u just try to protect ur own deeds cycling around and thinking as all other cyklists " i got the right to be here as well and u all should wait for me to pass" yea ur probably right but yet its a dangerous thing to do and yes it doesn't make it right for people to run u over but u should be aware that this is what could happen. ur alone and with no family its fine but only one lacking of respensibility doing it... again RIP poor soul...

Posted by frog on May 18, 2015 10:53

Monday December 4, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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