Belgian tourist dies after horrific attack by German in Hua Hin

Photo courtesy of HLN

A 64 year old Belgian tourist tragically succumbed to severe injuries following a brutal assault in Hua Hin in early April. The attack left him with a fractured skull and 10 broken bones, leading to a coma from which he never awoke.

Jan Valkenborg was holidaying with his Thai girlfriend in the resort town when he was ambushed. He was smoking a cigarette on the pavement when a man struck him from behind, continuing the vicious assault even after he fell. The assailant, later identified as a German national with a criminal record and ties to a local fight club, also attacked a British man the same night.

Danny Lemmens, Valkenborg’s close friend, remained by his side until he passed away on Monday, June 17. Lemmens, who travelled to Thailand to assist with Valkenborg’s care, recounted the harrowing ordeal.

“It was a long day, waiting for 13 hours during his surgery, and the following days were sleepless ones as I stayed in his hotel room, surrounded by his belongings while he fought for his life in the hospital.”

Valkenborg underwent a gruelling 13-hour surgery to address multiple skull fractures. Although the operation was successful, doctors estimated a recovery period of three to eight months, with an uncertain prognosis. Despite medical interventions, including a significant operation on his birthday, his condition worsened, leading to epileptic seizures. Doctors eventually concluded he would never fully recover.

The German attacker roamed the area for hours after the assault before being apprehended by police. Lemmens, who met Valkenborg through their mutual involvement with the Vlaams Belang political party, remembered him as a helpful individual with a wide circle of friends.

“Jan was a man with a heart of gold. He didn’t deserve this.”

Valkenborg was initially treated at a hospital in Hua Hin before being transferred to Bangkok for further operations and eventually repatriated to Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, Belgium.

His private funeral will be held tomorrow, June 22, with an opportunity for friends and family to pay their respects today at Funerarium Theunissen in Zichen-Zussen-Bolder, reported Hua Hin Today and ASEAN NOW.

Crime NewsHua Hin NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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