Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Bryn Murfet and Carley Hickman at Bangkok Hospital Phuket

Phuket Crash Analysis Raises Doubts About Tuk-Tuk Driver, Police Investigation

Monday, August 19, 2013
PHUKET: Australian tourist Bryn Murfet didn't know what hit him. One second he was on the back of a motorcycle, being driven back to his resort in Karon.

The next second he was flying through the air, then slamming into the ground, hard. The motorcycle rider was also down.

Bryn had left his resort to get early morning supplies from a local 7-Eleven. He didn't make it back to the resort.

Today at Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City he will be hoping that more feeling returns to his legs. Eight days after the crash, he still cannot move them.

The rider, Sirinya Yiamchaiyaphum, 32, has just been released after treatment for arm and back injuries at Vachira Phuket Hospital.

But big questions remain over the cause of the crash and the failure of Phuket police to charge the tuk-tuk driver involved. He hit the motorcycle from behind, at speed.

Officers at Karon Police Station attended the scene and took photographs, but those photographs now cannot be found. Nor can the photographs taken by paramedics.

The crashed motorcycle and the tuk-tuk have been quickly repaired, thanks to relatives of the tuk-tuk driver, who volunteered to pay to have the bike fixed.

The police report on the crash spoke of a vehicle but failed to mention that a tuk-tuk was involved. When a Phuketwan reporter called the investigating officer to ask about the case, he said: ''Oh, the buffalo ladyboy.''

This was a reference to the rider, Khun Sirinya, who is a transgender person. The lack of professionalism by the investigating officer shocked the Phuketwan reporter.

Police have yet to interview Bryn Murfet or Khun Sirinya about the crash, a breach of standard behavior. The tuk-tuk driver, Sophon Wandee, 33, has not been charged.

He also has not visited either of the crash victims. However, his wife has been to see Mr Murfet twice, and been in tears both times. Her husband, she says, is ''still in shock.''

Soon after Khun Sirinya was discharged from hospital, ''more than 10 members'' of the tuk-tuk driver's family visited her small apartment in Patong. They urged her to sign a document accepting 20,000 baht in compensation.

''They were very abusive and threatening,'' Khun Sirinya said. ''I really need much more than that because I will not be able to work for at least three months. But judging from what the family told me, 20,000 baht could be all I get.''

Bryn Murfet, 28, and his girlfriend Carley Hickman, 24, had been on Phuket for six days when the crash ruined their holiday. The couple come from Warrnambool in Victoria and Bryn works as an occupational health and safety officer at a local firm.

The couple thought about hiring a motorcycle while they were on Phuket, but decided it was not safe.

There is no time frame yet for Bryn's recovery. As well as damaging his spine, the crash split open his liver. His mother and sister have flown from Australia to be by his side.

The Australians are grateful for being insured, but puzzled that the outcome from the crash seems so harsh on another of the victims.

A few days before the crash, the Chief Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, General Adul Saengsingkaew, visited Phuket and spoke of the need for an improvement in the professionalism of Phuket's police.

An annual evaluation of all officers - beginning in October - would mean that police who did not behave professionally would be tranferred out, he said.

Phuketwan believes this case deserves closer inspection immediately, either by the Chief Commissioner or by the Department of Special Investigation.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Australian tourist Bryn Murfet should lodge an official complaint at DSI to get a fair investigation about the responsibility of the tuk-tuk driver.
Then Phuketians will know if DSI is capable to provide justice for all without fear about "Local Mafias" which are driving Phuket to an unruly province.
Today not so much is happening from DSI side.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 19, 2013 09:51


i remember this accident i was there last week sunday morning at 04.00 i just past by after it happend, what stroke me must was that the tukk tukk was 300meter from the accident place in the second bend and the tuk tuk whole side just was smashed, almost like it crashed with a car, and the falang for sure have been drinking and was just mummeling and the ladyboy was lucky not injured mutch, look like she got some scrape but she could walk, alot of thai people took picture and video, and i see the police was very confused about the accident becuse the tuk tuk driver was very anger and blamed the falang, wish i had a camera..

Posted by Pa on August 19, 2013 09:55

Editor Comment:

Yes, the tuk-tuk driver apparently hurled abuse at the Australian man, as he lay on the ground with his legs paralysed. The motorcycle rider does not drink. Mr Murfet had not been drinking. Are you willing as a witness to give evidence?


Not surprised. I was riding my scooter on Nanai Rd and was hit from behind by a motorbike taxi guy. he got off his bike and started to shout at me for not "signalling turn"?/ like it was my fault. When I said that he hit me and damaged my bike and that he should pay for the damage he basically told me to ****off and he sped away. 3000baht repairs to my fender and signal light.
Do you think the police were going to help me? Knowing my chances from past experience I didn't even bother. It would have cost me MORE

Posted by Tom on August 19, 2013 10:22


I wonder what sort of human being can verbally abuse a motionless man laying on the ground after hitting him from behind with his vehicle. Would have been the same if the man on the ground was thai ?

Posted by paul on August 19, 2013 11:12


Sadly it appears that it might take longer than we thought for some things to change.

ATTITUDES are going to be the hardest - on all sides. There is so much SUSPICION, some justified, but some almost xenophobic (on all sides).

I have to control my prejudices too as I have been caught on both sides of the fence many times. Once you have been physically attacked & verbally assaulted by the tuk tuk people, it is hard to forgive & forget.

I have some parked at the bottom of my road who sit & drink all day till they zoom off. They have 2 dogs which they think is funny when they rush out to attack passing bikes. The mentality is all wrong.

Posted by Logic on August 19, 2013 11:20


This is a typical situation in Phuket when a foreigner is involved in a crash and the tuk tuk driver had the nerve to blame it on the Aussie guy even though he wasn't even riding the bike!

When the cops realized that they couldn't possibly blame it on the foreigner, they lost the photos and let the tuk tuk driver quickly repair his vehicle to hide the evidence. What crash, nothing happened here?

This is total corruption and racism and needs to be reported to the DSI.

If this sort of thing is still going on even while the DSI is here, what hope has Phuket got?

Posted by Glassy on August 19, 2013 11:38


lets see if the DSI get on to this.

Posted by john on August 19, 2013 12:19


I think the reply of the official to PW was horrendous and very disrespectful but just shows what the DSI are up against. This officer is the kind of person you want out of Phuket but the sad thing is he is just one of many here who behave like this.

The DSI have been too quiet since arriving here. They need to be out on the streets cracking down on everything that is wrong with Phuket - tuk tuks - taxi drivers - jet ski - corrupt officials the lot - Im hoping it will happen.

Phuket needs to change - NOW is the time

Posted by Ciaran on August 19, 2013 12:25


We are living in hope & on borrowed time. All my Phuket memberships are sold. My bags are packed, ready to move up country.

I still hang on to the slender if forlorn hope that things will improve & that it is still tenable to live here some of the time.

But the changes anticipated have to start occurring sooner rather than later. I have few friends left here. They have already all moved. Sad!

Posted by Logic on August 19, 2013 14:58


editor well not mutch i can help, i just arrived after the accident and saw the damage on everything..

Posted by Pa on August 19, 2013 14:59

Editor Comment:

Can you tell us please what you saw, in detail?


Just a piece of healthy advice , Should you be involved in an accident or anything else that require a police report, then do seek translation of the police report before you sign it...things tend to "get lost in translation" and the report can end up showing a complete different story than the one you told and you thought was written down. Afterwards these reports stand as the truth and cannot be changed and thus cause you a lot of trouble .

Posted by Sailor on August 19, 2013 15:22


I am a friend of the Aussie!

If anybody saw the Tuk Tuk accident & took photo's. Please send them to:

Posted by James on August 20, 2013 12:51

Editor Comment:


Friday June 21, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter