PHUKET: A man thought to be an American was killed early today in a head-on motorcycle collision in southern Phuket.
Two motorcycles crashed at speed in Rawai. The man, aged 51, was killed instantly.
A man and a woman, riding on the other motorcycle, were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City. Both are in a serious condition today.
The crash took place on the notorious curve in Viset Road near the Soi Mangosteen intersection about 12.30am.
Seriously injured was Saknarin Wilam and an as-yet unnamed woman. Phuketwan has the name of the dead man but is awaiting confirmation that relatives in the US have been informed of his death.
A helmet was found at the scene in Viset Road, but it was closer to the motorcycle's basket than the dead man's head.
US embassy officials, coincidentally on Phuket as part of a regular outreach to US citizens, have been informed.
This week Phuket Governor Maitree Inthusud met with senior Phuket police and officials from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation to plan the New Year ''Seven Days of Danger'' campaign.
However, the dangerous season for expat residents and tourists riding motorcycles has already begun, and it will extend through Christmas and New Year.
Last Christmas-New Year season, an unusually high number of expats were killed in motorcycle collisions that could be attributed to speed or alcohol, or both.
The death toll among young expat motorcycle riders is likely to be out of proportion again this year, with the Western holiday season off to a tragic start.
Sopiyev Shihnazar, 27, a Turkmenistan citizen, was killed when he lost control of his rented motorcycle while riding fast from Patong to Phuket City in Vichitsongkhram Road at 3am on December 16.
Today's crash was between two motorcycles. It's believed the other rider was taken to hospital.
The Seven Days of Danger campaign begins on December 27 and runs through to January 2.
Ten police checkpoints will be operating across Phuket: four in the Phuket City district, three in Kathu and three in Thalang.
The aim will be to reduce last season's 75 crashes to 71 or less; the number of injured from 80 to 76 or less; and the number of dead from six to less than six.
Governor Maitree warned of the dangers of speed and alcohol and urged motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Using telephones while riding or driving was also a dangerous distraction, he said.
He added that 2000 large buses and 7000 minivans would be operating on Phuket, so the drivers of those vehicles ne3eded to show extra care for the safety of passengers.
Phuketwan is unable to report whether the road toll for the year on Phuket is better or worse than last year because the Public Health department ceased issuing monthly updates in April.
In most countries, successful campaigns to reduce the road toll are accompanied all year long by regular updates on statistics.