The dead man is Ludovic Didier Donny, 36, and his critically injured companion is Jerome Sebastien Heras, 35.
PHUKET: A French tourist plunged to his death from a motorcycle into a ditch within 24 hours of arriving on Phuket, police said today.
Another Frenchman survived the crash alongside Phuket's Karon beach and stayed on the road surface, with the newly-hired Yamaha motorcycle.
The dead man, though, appears to have plunged four metres into a ditch beside Patak Road West - the beach road - outside the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Beach Resort, Phuket's largest resort.
A security guard from the resort telephoned Colonel Boonlert On-Kang about 3.50am when he heard a shocking noise and discovered the motorcycle had crashed on a nearby bend.
''The security guard noticed that the men were talking very loudly to each other as they rode past,'' Colonel Boonlert said.
''The sound of the crash came moments later.''
The men, both in their 30s, were staying at the Valero Guesthouse in Patong, the next beach north of Karon.
Members of the Phuket Ruamjai Rescue Foundation had to descend a sheer wall into the ditch where they found the man had broken his neck.
It took about 30 minutes for the foundation workers to rig a sling to remove the body.
The injured Frenchman was transferred from Patong Hospital to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City, where the body of his friend is in the morgue.
Police believe the pair had been drinking.
Phuketwan has the names of both men but is awaiting confirmation that their families in france have been notified before publishing them.