Hong Kong man and female companion killed in northern Thailand bike crash
Pair died after being hit from behind by car near Thai Elephant Conservation Centre on Lampang Chiang Mai Highway
A Hong Kong man and his female passenger were killed in a bike accident in Thailand over the weekend.
Wong Siu-ming, 44, was riding a motorbike with his female companion along the Lampang Chiang Mai Highway in northern Thailand when they were hit by a car on Saturday night.
The woman, who was in her 30s and from the mainland, died at the scene, while Wong was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries.
A local newspaper reported that the crash happened in wet conditions on a downhill bend near the Thai Elephant Conservation and Training Centre.
The report said the motorcycle was hit from behind by a white sedan. Thai authorities had reportedly arrested the driver of the car in connection with the incident, which occurred about 67km away from Chiang Mai.
Motorcycle deaths are not uncommon in Thailand. The primary mode of road transport in the country an average of more than 100,000 domestic sales have been recorded per month in recent years, and bike accidents account for nearly three-quarters of traffic-related deaths in the country, according to a study by the Ramathibodi Hospital’s Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Centre.
In 2015, the World Health Organisation cited a death rate of 26.3 motorcycle-related deaths for every 100,000 people in Thailand, making its roads one of the deadliest for people to ride a motorcycle on.
For visitors, the average cost of renting a bike is about 150 to 450 baht (US$5 to $15 ) per day, depending on the bike they want to hire.
Visitors that want to drive are required by law to hold an international driving licence and when asked, must be able to produce the document along with their passport and national driving licence.
Despite these regulations many shops in Thailand still rent out bikes, even if the customer does not have a licence.
“As long as you can drive away from their shop without toppling over or crashing into something or someone, you’re as free as a bird,” an American couple living in the country wrote on their blog.
On Monday, the Immigration Department said that after learning about the crash it contacted the Hong Kong office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Chinese consulate in Chiang Mai, to learn about the case.
A spokesman for the department said officers had contacted the family members of the deceased and offered help.