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UK policeman dies in road smash



UK policeman dies in road smash | Thaiger

TAKUA PA: A British police officer who was a member of the the UK’s Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team working in Phuket died yesterday in a minibus crash in Phang Nga. Two of his colleagues were seriously injured.

The accident happened around 4pm yesterday, when the minibus in which the three officers were travelling was in collision with a Phuket-Bangkok tour bus near Bang Nieng Market on Phetchakasem Road, Takuapa.

The dead officer has been named as Kevin Brinkman, 33. His injured companions are John Briscoe, 36, and Ray Gorder, 37. All three came to Phuket with colleagues from Cheshire constabulary. Mr Briscoe and Mr Gorder are being treated in Bangkok Phuket Hospital.

Sinchai Choopol, a 44-year-old passenger on the tour bus, was also taken to hospital but was discharged after treatment.

Pol Capt Anant Keauboonkaew, of Takuapa Police Station, told the Gazette that Mr Briscoe was driving the minibus at the time of the accident.

He explained, “The officers had rented the minibus and were driving from Phuket to Takuapa. The driver stopped to turn right, and the tour bus crashed into the back of it.”

Capt Anant added that investigations were ongoing, “but I believe both drivers were negligent.”

The driver of the tour bus, Aroon Srikeau, 36, of Phang Nga, was uninjured. Contrary to local custom, he did not flee the scene, Capt Anant noted.

PC Brinkman’s body is being kept at Takuapa Hospital while documents are brought from the British Embassy in Bangkok.

The Chief Constable of Cheshire, Peter Fahy, quoted by British news media, described PC Brinkman as “a fine officer”.

He said that the work the officers had been doing identifying tsunami victims was “a very distressing and difficult task”.

And, he said, “This tragic event will make it harder for their colleagues to continue carrying out that task.”

In 2002, PC Brinkman received a commendation for bravery after arresting two armed robbers who were holding up a jewelry store.


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