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Bryn Murfett and Carley Hickman at Bangkok Hospital Phuket

Phuket Tuk-Tuk Crash Victim, Left a Paraplegic, Is Starting Over

Friday, December 6, 2013
PHUKET: A young Australian man who was struck from behind by a tuk-tuk on Phuket has been left a paraplegic and is now starting a different life.

The case involving Bryn Murfett, 29, is regarded as an example of the way Phuket police are cowed by Phuket's tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.

The tuk-tuk driver fled soon after crashing into the motorcycle in Karon on August 11, and a Phuket police report and crash photos later ''disappeared''.

Mr Murfett, travelling pillion, and the rider of the motorcycle were yelled at by the tuk-tuk driver before he fled. He never apologised.

Phuketwan interviewed Mr Murfett and the rider, Sirinya Yiamchaiyaphum, 32, after the crash but efforts to have the police look more closely into what happened failed.

Mr Murfett spent the past three months at a rehab unit in Australia, gaining upper body strength and skills to allow him to live independently in a wheelchair.

Fractures of his T7 and T8 vertebrae have left him paralysed from the lower chest down, the Herald Sun newspaper reports.

His $150 travel insurance at least relieved him from having to worry about the $100,000 medical bill he incurred in three weeks at the Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City.

His home town of Warrnambool has rallied behind him and girlfriend Carley Hickman as they returned home this week.

''Mentally, I keep looking forward, focusing on the future and not looking back,'' he said. But he is unlikely to forget being yelled at as he lay on the street that night, unable to move his legs to get clear.

His parents, Murray and Bronwen, have returned to work, cake stalls have sold out, and sausages have been sizzled as part of the 4Bryn Appeal, which aims to raise $100,000.

Local tradesmen and businesses have donated fittings and labor to modify his home for a wheelchair.

A $20,000 exercise bike that uses electrical currents to stimulate leg muscles is top of his wish list, along with car modifications and a $9000 wheelchair.

''He's always been very determined,'' Ms Hickman said. ''That's why he's here today.''

Details for donations are available at

Detailed statistics about the road toll on Phuket were released each month until April 2012, when officials stopped publication updates.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I had the pleassure of looking after Bryn in my small way back here in Melbourne, at Rehab Hospital, a remarkable young man, was an inspiration to all.

Posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2013 08:11


There is a positive to this story. Because he paid an extra $150 he and his family where spared the additional trauma of medical costs in Phuket.

Posted by Arthur on December 6, 2013 09:48


They breed them strong down in Warrnambool. Best wishes to this young man and his family, hang in there mate.

Posted by Brian on December 6, 2013 11:18


This is truly despicable that the police are complicit in making sure no one is accountable. Was the driver a motorbike taxi? Those guys are usually the safest riders on the road, seeing as their job is the most hazardous.

Posted by geoff on December 6, 2013 13:13



The same cant be said about the tuk tuk driver.

Posted by Sean on December 6, 2013 13:59


All the best Bryn, be positive and keep up the determination.
You have your angel by your side ''Carley''


Posted by robert on December 6, 2013 14:44


My cheers to Bryn, I'm wheelchair bound myself. Life is not over not give up.

Posted by Claudio on December 6, 2013 16:44


I love the way his local community have rallied round. Good luck young man - you have years ahead of you. Shows how luck some of us old timers have been to avoid such accident / incident.

Posted by Logic on December 7, 2013 04:47


PW would do well to identify the Tuk Tuk driver responsible. Some kind citizen will then be able pay him a kindly visit.

Posted by ge on December 7, 2013 08:48

Editor Comment:

We don't advocate violence in any form and we recommend that readers suppress whatever western tendencies they might have to think that violence is an answer to anything, ge. You would ''do well'' to listen.

Thursday August 11, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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