From Andrew Drummond,
June 30 2011
Three young British men on a gap year trip together were killed outright in Thailand when their tourist coach was involved in a head on collision with another bus.
A fourth teenager also travelling with the same group arrived back in London early today suffering from minor injuries and shock.
The accident happened late Monday near the provincial town of Kamphaeng Phet in Northern Thailand. The young students, all from London, were reported to have been killed instantly.
They were named as Bruno Melling-Firth, 19, Conrad Quashie, 19, and Max Boomgaarden-Cook, 19, who all knew each other from The Charter School in Dulwich. They had been saving for months to pay for their “trip of a lifetime” and had flown out to Thailand from Heathrow last Thursday.
Some forty other people were also injured in the crash. The coach was taking tourists, including some from Korea and China to the northern capital of Chiang Mai when it collided with a normal Thai passenger bus heading south on the same route.
The four men, part of a larger group of young students , some of whom had already travelled on to Indonesia, had intended visiting Thailand’s northern hill tribe areas.
The BBC executive father of one of the students who had gone on to Indonesia said: ‘The surviving lad is very traumatised and I think is going to see the parents of those who died. I am sure he does not want to talk at this stage.’
Thailand’s road safety reputation is bad. There are over 12,000 fatalities from road accidents every year, and usually about 350 during the annual New Year period.
Reports say alcohol is a major contributing factor but drivers are not educated in lane control and will generally overtake in any lane available.