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Maximilien Grau of The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket was killed in the crash

UPDATE Phuket Motorcycle Crash Claims French Expat in Kamala

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Updating All Day, Every Day

THE DEAD rider has been identified as Frenchman Maximilien Grau, 34, of The Bell Pool Villa Resort Phuket in Kamala.

Original Report

PHUKET: A man of European extraction was killed when he rode his motorcycle into a concrete pole in a winding, narrow ride through a popular Phuket holiday destination last night.

The man has yet to be identified, said police in Kamala, north of the popular west coast nightlife hub of Patong. The crash brought out residents about 10.30pm to see what had caused the noise.

Police believed the dead rider had been drinking. He was not wearing a safety helmet.

The man died on the coast road loop known as Rim Hat Road that runs off the main Kalim-Kamala Road. Residents found his body wedged between the wrecked Honda Click motorcycle and the gates of a shophouse.

The body was taken to Patong Hospital and police are now trying to establish the identity of the dead man.

Early on Thursday, Australian entrepreneur and Phuket sailor Adam Tepper, 34, died instantly when his motorcycle crashed into a traffic warning light pole in southern Phuket at high speed.

Police believe he had been drinking. It took two days before he could be formally identified.

A disproportionate number of expat residents and tourists are killed in motorcycle crashes on the popular Thai holiday island every year.

Bar staff seldom refuse service to drinkers who may be too inebriated to ride. Serious police crackdowns are confined to Western and Thai New Year.

Phuket authorities once issued monthly updates on the nightmarish toll of deaths and injuries on the holiday island's roads - most due to motorcycle crashes.

Authorities have suppressed all annual and monthly tolls since April, 2012.

Some of the deaths come because the monopoly run by the island's taxi and local tuk-tuk drivers makes the cost of a safe trip home too extortionate - six times the fares of Bangkok.

Everyone, from schoolchildren to grandmothers to tourists, is forced to ride dangerous motorcycles.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Would be great if the Phuket Governor makes himself strong for clearing beaches of Jet skies, and work hard on better public transport, like in BKK.
That could safe many life's! But that seems to be just my day-dreaming. Phuket Governor to busy with pestering tourists and protect jet sky 'organizations'.

Posted by Kurt on March 1, 2015 10:05

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I drive from Kamala towards Cherngthalay most late afternoons and they are out of control on these bigger bikes. Yesterday in Kamala a young fool came flying of his bike. They should have more respect and not endanger lives of the mum and dads bringing their young kids either from school or shopping on their bikes, must be hard on the kids when these fools zip past on these noisey fast bikes.

Posted by Grow Up on March 1, 2015 10:12

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Sadly in my long experience on Phuket, most of these fatal motorbike accidents at night involve booze. Where I live now, you have 10 baht song thaews and cheap motor bike taxis. Phuket has no options except exorbitant tuk tuk's where a short ride can cost the same as 2 days motorbike rent. People choose a bike as it is the most affordable option. It ends up costing people their life as Phuket is a big island and people have to get around some how. Just don't get on a bike after drinking. Leave the bike at home when drinking. Make that your unchanging rule.

Posted by Arun Muruga on March 1, 2015 10:45

Editor Comment:

I well remember doing that, AM, only to clamber onto the back of a motorcycle taxi and discover that the rider was far more inebriated than his passenger.

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(moderated) Goodbye.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on March 1, 2015 11:08

Editor Comment:

Goodbye.

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Sorry Kurt, if the human brain of a grown up is so stupid like I see with these fools every day on their big bikes roaring thru from Surin-Kamala-Patong then no matter what the Governer did would assist, not sure why people keep blaming others for their stupidy. Maybe Kurt you would know if these idiots can get away with speeding and riding like fools back home or where ever they come from?

Posted by Grow Up on March 1, 2015 11:56

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Well said Ed: "I well remember doing that, AM, only to clamber onto the back of a motorcycle taxi and discover that the rider was far more inebriated than his passenger."

The same could be said for the majority of the tuk tuk drivers charging extortionate fares at night; if not drink then 'something'!

Posted by Logic on March 1, 2015 12:20

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@ Grow Up, the answer for Phuket is partly: Law enforcement,...law enforcement.
Off the Island of Phuket traffic law enforcement is much better than on Phuket Island. On Phuket there is not any, agree? Drive to Krabi, when you 'over speed', the police stops you, have to pay a fine. On Phuket nobody seems ( including police) to know what are the speed limits. Do you see any traffic signs on Phuket telling you the speed limits?

Posted by Kurt on March 1, 2015 12:57

Editor Comment:

There are plenty of speed limit signs on Phuket, Kurt.

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Make the motorcycle rent more expensive than a taxi ride. Problem solved.
Everyone should do with his life what he wants. But not endanger the lives of others.
Unfortunately, I have to say, now many bad tourists here (young a..h...s).
On the streets and on the water (Jet-Ski).

Posted by steve on March 1, 2015 13:20

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R.I.P. for the person who passed away first. Also strength to his family & friends. NOT only alcohol plays a part in these accidents. I keep repeating there should be no rental without the driver can show a Valid (big bike liscence). If this was not the case, then the rental company should also get responsibility & financial liability. Drunk driving is wrong but double dangerous when driver not experienced. Only the rental company can check this and the police can double check it....

@Arun Muruga. Also I'm aware off a meeting point where "working" Tuk-Tuk drivers enjoy a break. Have some talks while drinking alcoholic beverages and the smell of joints encounters you while passing on your bike. This happens frequently on busy, High, season evenings/nights. And I'm convinced it happens among different religions...

Editor is also very right to keep blaming also the Crazy prices for Tuk_Tuk here on Phuket. Greed makes deadly victims...

Posted by phuketgreed on March 1, 2015 14:58

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Kurt,
The Phuket speed limit is no more than 4 pills a day. This is the limit where most decisions make sense. Well,so Ive been told anyway.

Posted by manowar on March 1, 2015 16:03

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Well I think people are correct in that many tuk tuk drivers and motorbike taxi drivers on Phuket are on something. Where I live now most of the guys are older and have old bikes so just ride slowly. On Phuket they charge more and can make a lot of money so a lot of younger and hungrier guys are doing taxi and tuk tuk work. The Song thaews here can be pretty reckless too. It's a country wide problem this reckless driving. At night here, people just speed straight through red lights without even slowing down. I get right to the left at night as so many of these maniacs in cars are on the loose.

Posted by Arun Muruga on March 1, 2015 17:08

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Some people seems not to like The Truth, that is mentioned in the article that bike are more dangerous than cars , and it's a fact - same as the fact that flying is safer than going by road :

"According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2006, 13.10 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles.[1] Motorcycles also have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled when compared with automobiles. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists' risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car.[1] In 2004, figures from the UK Department for Transport indicated that motorcycles have 16 times the rate of serious injuries compared to cars, and double the rate of bicycles.[2]"

Posted by Sue on March 1, 2015 18:23

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@Ed

True, there are some speed limit traffic sighs, but some of them promote more a split of personality and a detachment from reality, than a traffic safety:

e.g. speed limits that are put when you 're going downhill descending to the City of Patong:

1. first, you can 60kmh restriction as a sign erected on the sidewalk , 2X the same .

Actually, already at this point it make invoke mental trouble as with all those turns and the slope, to go 60(!) km per hour is apparently insane behaviou. So one would ask oneself : am I dreaming or are the authorities?
Moreover , between these 2 signs you read in English - "slow down". Who will pay for treatment of traffic signs induced mental illness

2. Then just near the 2nd 60 sign, you can see the marking on the road - 30km/h - and that is reasonable restriction.
Still, mental disturbance proliferate just further, as this marking is painted almost by the 60 sign.

Posted by Sue on March 1, 2015 18:32

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@Kurt

Totally agree. Police don't do their job, that's the be all and end all of it. So people flaunt the law.

Get away with doing what you want because the Police won't chase you.

I have still got to witness a Policeman pulling over someone driving like a maniac - e.g. Taxi driver.

Doesn't happen. But does happen in other provinces.

Posted by Tbs on March 1, 2015 22:25

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You often give out good information Sue.
Thanks for your due diligence in many matters relating to Phuket - in this case, the statistics (which I will check to verify their veracity, although I do not doubt you in the slightest), which helps in my own research. It was like finding a 100 Baht note on the ground..puts a smile on your face..

That English may be your second language doesn't stop you from being effective in the medium.

farang888

Posted by farang888 on March 1, 2015 23:21

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Some interesting comments here, clearly those that posted are not familiar with Kamala. The incident (accident is not really an appropriate word for collisions with other vehicles or inanimate objects) happened approximately 200m east of the main drag on what is commonly referred to as 'Soi Oh La la' (2nd set of lights when headed north through Kamala).

Both on the main road and side roads at present there is a lot of sand and other debris- currently it is easy to lose grip and control even as a pedestrian. The roads are in a shocking state.

Having talked to someone earlier today who was with him about 30 minutes prior to the accident the presumptions about alcohol leave something to be desired as well. Its easy to pass judgement on the internet but reality is sometimes different. RIP and another life sadly ended too short.

Posted by Mister Ree on March 2, 2015 03:03

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Mister Ree,

if apparently negligent continuous care of public road is a cause of an incident, normally it should bring compensation claim against a (functioning) state.
As the latter part is not really a case, then even if such claim is brought , if will be awarded in 50 satang amount.
Of course , state investigative bodies try to shift fault onto a deceased - "drunk" etc., instead of accepting negligence of state agencies.

My Safety Briefing to friends and acquitants who visit Phuket, is "minimize your kms on the road, and up to zero around NY Eve and similar peaks - plan your logistics accordingly ; never drive a bike, also as a passenger; in general don't drive yourself" - with traffic rules being so much modified by "customs and usages", and various participants in traffic like Soi difs and too underage drivers, coupled with phenomena of reversed traffic etc. , justifies such msg to ppl who are on few weeks visit here.

Posted by Sue on March 2, 2015 05:14

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You said you spoke with someone who had seen the motorcyclist 30 minutes before the accident. Can you tell me more about this conversation? I am a close friend to the deceased and would like to get more information. I am in the United States and it is hard to contact anyone there.

Posted by Charlotte on March 2, 2015 12:03

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@Grow Up and @Steve
That's a persons son, brother (my case), husband you are trash talking about. Through news like this there is no way in hell you can actually know exactly what happened. Its easy to pass judgement over the internet, reading these media posts and hidden behind your computers.
After he is dead, its pretty easy for the authorities to blame it on drinking and speeding... why would they ever blame horrible road conditions (sand, irregular pavement), right?
Thank-you @Mister Ree and @Kurt for the fact-based comments, rather than personal opinions about 'fools' you others have NEVER met and know NOTHING about.
@Charlotte if you want to talk let me know.

Posted by Nina on March 4, 2015 17:18

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Police believed the dead rider had been drinking, could I also suggest that having been forced to crash by others, like youth in a gang, is not unthinkable either ? The cameras could tell

Posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2015 05:48

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Nina,
I really would like to know more. Please feel free to contact me via email charavon@yahoo.com.

Posted by Charlotte on March 13, 2015 08:44

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I think the major problem here is simple, the people coming here leave what little brain cells at the airport, they decide to go out get drunk and drive home, Would they do this back home??? The answer is simple NO,, a DUI in most Western countries would cost far more then a two day motor bike rental here, stupid people come here everyday and die, that is there problem, not the Governors, I have lived here for 10 years and love to drink, but I know when to go home

Posted by Brett on August 11, 2015 18:53

Editor Comment:

A superiority complex may keep you alive, Brett, but it's not the answer for people who just need to be told what the dangers are before they arrive.


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