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Riding a tuk-tuk to celebrate New Year in Patong (She is taking the video)

UPDATE British Woman Dies in Fall From Moving Phuket Tuk-Tuk

Sunday, December 20, 2015
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

POLICE said on Monday that security camera footage showed the woman slipped and fell from the tuk-tuk with the driver travelling at low speed.

Original Report

PHUKET: A second British woman has died on Phuket's roads in just eight days - this time with the tourist falling from the back of a tuk-tuk at a bend in Kamala.

The unusual tragedy came about 3am as the woman and her male companion returned from an evening in Soi Bangla, Patong, to their resort at Surin beach.

There is one very sharp bend on the road through Kamala, just metres from the local police station and a Muslim cemetery, and that's believed to be the spot where the woman toppled out.

Driver Yongyut Damkong, 44, passed a breath test, according to police.

Khun Yongyut told police he was doing no more than 40 kmh when the tourist tumbled to the roadway.

The woman's body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.

It's not the first time a tourist has fallen to their death from the rear of a tuk-tuk.

Hanging off the back of a moving vehicle is as dangerous in Thailand as it is everywhere else.

British tourist Rebecca Leanne Shaw, 32, was killed last Saturday when the motorcycle she and a friend were riding collided with a pickup on the Patong Hill road.


Comments have been disabled for this article.



Posted by Elephants Gerald on December 20, 2015 19:53

Editor Comment:

What Elephants really meant to say:

Once again I pass on my sincere condolences to this woman's family. Two tragic deaths of British women in the space of eight days is a sad indictment of the lack of road safety on Phuket. I also apologise, on behalf of all the island guessers. They believe their knowledge of local conditions gives them the power to accurately discern how individual crashes are caused. The truth is, they have no idea, and no right to impose their egotistical ravings on people suffering from needless tragedies.



Posted by sid on December 20, 2015 22:17

Editor Comment:

What sid meant to say:

RIP dear lady. Holidays are meant to be fun but the problem with fun on Phuket is that all too often, needless tragedies result. I do hope that authorities properly investigate this sad event and do more to prevent further tragedies happening in future. My condolences to her family and friends.


There was a bump on that corner involving a bus earlier in the day. Fortunately the Police were on hand straight away - the Kamala Police Col was driving the other vehicle, which was stationary at the time.He was not impressed. Hearsay or second hand info - nope, I was on said bus. Its a very dangerous corner.

Posted by Mister Ree on December 20, 2015 22:37


Wanting to just holiday on Phuket this woman died because of a lousy choice of transportation on Phuket. Who in the right mind would use such a dangerous vehicle at home for a drive home at night? Where in the world would something like this register for person transport? And on Phuket it is even insanely expensive. But this woman had no choice but to use it. RIP.

Bring on the minibus, the meter taxis, with safety belts and doors. It is not 1980 any more.

Posted by Lena on December 21, 2015 01:42



With you 100 percent on your comment..

Posted by robert on December 21, 2015 08:24


@ Lena.
Transport culture, Lena, just local culture.
See the mini vans, 1 driver in the cabin, the staff sit in the back. No seats, no belts.( is by law illegal)
Large lorries, early morning and evening, with a full load of standing construction workers. (Is illegal by law).
Tuk tuks, no seat belts. Seems not to be compulsory.
Often when mini vans /lorries are involved in accidents, people in the open back get thrown/catapult out and die.

Seems thai people feel still ok with this illegal form of human transport.
Police never look after it anyway.

Posted by Kurt on December 21, 2015 09:35


Was a bad day for accidents this one, the sixteen dead in bus in Chang mai the two dead in lop buri. When steam roller fell off lorry and those were only ones that made the headlines

Posted by Michael on December 21, 2015 10:43


tragic and needless with speculative contributing factors as to why limited transport options bad roads alcohol impairment foolish bravado. the outcome little investigation no recommendations to change anything, death by misadventure another road toll statistic family and friends shattered R.I.P

Posted by slickmelb on December 21, 2015 12:21



Posted by Roger on December 21, 2015 16:53

Editor Comment:

Your previous comments have been signed as Phil, Marc, Ian and Rob. So Roger, as commenters have frequently suggested to the Editor, ''grow some balls.'' If you're not brave enough to attach a real name, don't waste our time, please.


Considering the constant, needless deaths of tourists in various modes of road transport I think it's fair to say the safety of tourists is a priority for local authorities only in press releases.

Perhaps Thai people are used to and complacent with such abysmal safety record but visitors cannot possibly fathom how bad it is here.

If there were permanent blood alcohol level test checkpoints 365 days per year rotating around the island and actual, REAL consequences for those above the limit, I would dare to predict the number of traffic accidents on Phuket could easily be halved.

Back when accident statistics were still being released, alcohol played a role in almost 80% of cases.

Sure it's not going to solve everything but it would be a very easy and highly efficient way to improve safety.

Posted by Herbert on December 21, 2015 17:18

Editor Comment:

''Perhaps European people are used to and complacent with such abysmal safety record but visitors cannot possibly fathom how bad it is here.''

To assume all Thai people accept the country's appalling safety record is bigotry 101.


How can anyone fall out of a rear entrance tuk-tuk at any speed if they are sitting down?

Posted by sir burr on December 21, 2015 17:49

Editor Comment:

That's a good question.


Why have a comment section if choose to moderate the comments. Maybe you should start online news website in China. Then your actions would make sense.

Posted by Thomas on December 21, 2015 18:35

Editor Comment:

When you supply your full name, Thomas, your comment has some value. Until then, it's about as much value as the average fart. Uninformed opinions are a waste of time. Think, then comment when you have something to say. Otherwise, fart away.


You know my real name Alan. I chose farang 888 because as a journalist that writes the truth, I choose to be proactive and fly under the radar.

Being proactive on roadways would save lives, Thai and farang alike.

But we live in a reactive world. Bye the way, after a 2 year absence, I just finishing driving my truck from Chiang Rai to Phuket and back. I saw far less accidents than on the same trip 2 and 3 years ago.

I submit that the military has had an effect in this area. Never saw so many roadblocks with heavily armed soldiers as this time.

So despite the fact that I refrain from using my full name, I attempt quality content and still fall short.

Using my full name would not make my comments better or worse.

I and many others are grateful to you, Chutima and the whole gang at Phuketwan. I would move on too if I were in your shoes.

Best wishes for all your future endeavors on "this veil of tears.." Your efforts made Thailand a bit better place, to the point I could use my real name and probably come away unscathed.

I still like proactive over reactive though. Call it gutless,I don't mind at all. You see, my Thai wife puts more value on me than I deserve.


Posted by Farang888 on December 22, 2015 08:04

Editor Comment:

Someone who drove past the wreck of the bus in which the Malaysian tourists died in vast numbers would form a different view of the way road safety in Thailand was heading, Dean. Personal observations are always worthwhile but it would be a mistake to draw conclusions from a single independent survey. Escaping harm on Thailand's roads is still just a matter of luck rather than education and good planning. The military has done nothing to make the roads safer.

Thanks for your observations and kind thoughts. The editor knowing your name makes not a jot of difference to the hundreds of readers who do not. Some commenters take the process of adding value seriously, whether they use their real name or not. Others misuse the opportunity in every imaginable way.


You stated yourself that less foreigners are dying of unnatural causes in Phuket.

Nevertheless, I agree that it is of no solace to the families of the latest victims.

All the symptoms on roadways remain, but I see red paint on dangerous curves and a few speeding cameras that were absent a few years ago. Proactive safety changes are painfully slow, especially in Thailand.

Perhaps I am deluded in thinking that THailand is marginally safer today than a few years ago. My perception may be askew, as it often is.


Posted by Farang 888 on December 22, 2015 08:29

Editor Comment:

There have been fewer deaths through violent crimes on Phuket in recent years but the roads remain unsafe for visitors and residents. Embassies may well add up all deaths but the cure for the road toll is obviously different to finding answers for crime. The degree of risk always depends on exposure to risk factors: spend more time on the roads or stay out late in entertainment zones and you take greater chances. Being ''marginally safer'' or not always depends on what people do in their lifestyle choices, at home or on holiday.


If the military has failed to make the roads safer, I submit that Thailand is much better off at this time with them than without them.

Who said democracy in Thailand was working for the people?

The more I know about Thailand the less I know. Why life is viewed as cheaper than in the west is a book I won't tackle. There would be no audience.

Posted by Farang 888 on December 22, 2015 08:38

Editor Comment:

The military does not have instant answers for all of Thailand's problems.


I Agree 100 percent Alan. It is poor choices that often get The unfortunate tourist in trouble on roadways, mostly choosing not to wear a helmet on motorbikes.

As I stated before, it's a perfect storm of bad choices and the ignorance of the culture that gets so many tourists hurt or even killed.

There are a few good books out there on tourist safety in Thailand, how to be proactive, but few pay heed. We are in a reactive, entitled world.

My sincere condolences to the families of the recent tragedies. May change come soon, so the numbers are one day eliminated.

With 30 million tourists, safety IS NOT job one. To do so implies a fundamental shift in culture, and that will be slow in coming. IIt starts and ends with Education.


Posted by Farang888 on December 22, 2015 11:29


Ed isn't rear entry tuk tuks long outlawed and only side entry are permissible so this can not occur, if its side entry they have to have been hanging off the back if not the tuk tuk is operating illegally if tumbled out of the back can you enlighten us on this

Posted by slickmelb on December 23, 2015 21:29

Editor Comment:

Arcane regulations govern tuk-tuks. My understanding was that side-entry tuk-tuks were restricted to use in Phuket Town rather than either kinds being illegal. Just as the yellow-top tuk-tuks have strayed from Phuket Town, so the side-entry vehicles can be found on the other side of the island. My memory could be failing, though.

Monday October 2, 2023
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