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Swede dies in big bike crash, first death in Phuket road-safety campaign

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: A Swedish man died in a motorcycle accident on his way across Thepkrasattri Bridge in Phuket yesterday evening.

The death of Johnny Daniel Soederstroem, 41, marks the first death of the ‘Seven Days of Danger’ road-safety campaign in Phuket, which coincides with Phuket Bike Week.

“He was riding a Honda CB650F, which crashed into the concrete railings along the bridge. When rescue workers arrived, he was in critical condition,” said Capt Thanom Thongpan of the Tah Chat Chai Police. “He was rushed to Thalang Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.”

Another biker friend riding alongside Mr Soederstroem told police that when Mr Soederstroem came to the middle of the bridge, he stood up on his bike to look at the sea. He then lost control and slammed into the wall, hitting his head on a streetlight pole.

Thousands of bikers have descended on Phuket as part of the Phuket Bike Week event, which started in Patong last weekend and will continue in Saphan Hin in Phuket Town this weekend.

In 2013, two Malaysian bikers participating in the festivities died in motorbike accidents (story here).

As day four of the ‘Seven Days of Danger’ road-safety campaign concluded, the island witnessed one death, 33 accidents and 39 injuries, according to statistics recorded by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Phuket Office.

Updated Phuket statistics issued by the DDPM for traffic offences during the first three days of the campaign are as follows:

– Riding a motorbike without wearing a helmet – 3,084 people
– Riding an unsafe motorbike – 18 people
– Driving under the influence of alcohol – 166 people
– Driver and/or passengers failing to use seat belts – 236 people
– Driving without [carrying] a valid driving license – 1,552 people
– Speeding – 0 people
– Failing to stop at a red light – 38 people
– Driving on the wrong side (ghost-riding) – 63 people
– Overtaking in a restricted zone – 20 people
– Using a mobile phone while driving – 86 people

“We are very sorry about Mr Soederstroem’s death. Though he had yet to cross through the Phuket checkpoint, he was past the middle part of the bridge, so his death is included in our statistics,” Sirisak Skoonsorutcha, chief of the DDPM Phuket Office said. “We will do our best to prevent any more deaths on our roads for the remainder of the campaign.”

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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