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Brit tourist in Phuket taxi accident rescued from B1.5mn medical bills

PHUKET: A campaign to raise funds for a British woman who suffered a broken back and multiple other serious internal injuries when a truck slammed into head-on into the Phuket taxi she and her partner were travelling in has rallied to provide the funds needed to pay her medical bills in just one day.

By The Phuket News

Friday 11 May 2018, 11:40AM

Abigail Sontag, a travel agent in from Essex, England, and her partner Pete Brudenell had been on holiday in Phuket only a couple of days before they were involved in a serious road accident.

The couple were travelling in a local taxi from Phuket to Khao Lak on May 1 when a truck struck their taxi head-on after hitting another car travelling in front of them.

Ms Sontag suffered a broken back, three broken ribs and a ruptured spleen and bowel.

She was brought Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where she is receiving medical treatment.

“Abbie’s mother Natalie, step dad Russell Brooks and sister Ellis immediately got the first available flight to Thailand on Tuesday (May 8) and have remained at Abbie’s bedside ever since,” reported EssexLive, the couple’s local newspaper back home. (See story here.)


“She has had the operation to repair her spleen, bowel and broken ribs and is awaiting her operation on her spine which is due in the next few days,” the family reported Wednesday (May 9).

The family were hit with the devastating news the following day that Ms Sontag’s travel insurance does not cover the B1.5 million in medical costs for her treatment and that they will be forced to pay for the operations.

Ms Sontag believed she had travel insurance with her bank, but she doesn’t, the family explained on a GoFundMe page set up to raise the £35,000 needed. (See GoFundMe page here.)

As of yesterday, the campaign had raised £6,000, but in the following 24 hours since EssexLive highlighted the story, and followed by The Sun, donations flowed in to now provide £32,500 raised by 1,147 people in just 24 hours.

“We are greatly thankful for all the kind souls in the world and thankful to have Abbie and Pete with us today,” the family said on the GoFundMe page.



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Pauly44 | 15 May 2018 - 17:22:46

Anyone who has lived in Thailand long enough knows the games, foreigners are always a target and if they're a victim best of luck getting compensated, too corrupt. The tone of your posts indicate a constant defending of Thailand regardless which indicates you have a vested interest in the country or will make any excuse to justify your existence. Aussies I know tend to make sense. 

DeKaaskopp | 15 May 2018 - 15:10:39

"Thailand trained crap doctors"Probably you are leaving Thailand every time for consulting a doctor or a shrink.
"extreme Thai apologist"Calling someone an apologist for asking to investigate why a Thai insurance doesn't pay? Must be "Aussie"logic.

Christy Sweet | 15 May 2018 - 08:18:30

The hospital is obscene in pricing, featuring grotesque sanitational absurdities such as carpet  in public areas. Cringe while the cafe workers use the same filthy rag on the table as the cutlery, etc., etc., AND you're still getting Thailand trained, crap doctors. 

Pauly44 | 14 May 2018 - 16:32:35

The last poster is an extreme Thai apologist, Thailand gets a bashing when/where deserved and in this case it is most definately justified, she was a passenger in a public transport vehicle, the drivers involved are responsible, either they or the company they work for are liable for her medical costs, pure & simple, no conspiracy theory or special investigations required!

DeKaaskopp | 13 May 2018 - 20:49:37

Publishing some news-story from EssexLive on here isn't really a journalistic masterpiece.How about some  thorough research by PN journalists (are there any?]about the reasons that there is no insurance paying from the car/truck driver.Without more information the whole story sucks and awakens only those clowns who like to blame Thailand or the government for everything!

Kurt | 13 May 2018 - 17:36:59

Dear Phuket News, It's true what you write, however, sometimes I have still 9-10 characters left and then see my comment still cut at the end, not 'given' 400 characters.

Perhaps a cyber/IT program technicality?

Note form the Editor:
* Thank you - will check with IT team in the morning

CaptainJack | 13 May 2018 - 11:47:52

Dear Phuket News, will you please sort out your comment submission platform. If we're allowed 400 characters then please publish 400 characters. It's annoying that the last line of everyone's comments are always missing.



Note from the Editor:
Underneath the Comments box is counter called "Characters left:" which should help to keep track o...

Timothy | 12 May 2018 - 09:48:56

This is totally disgraceful. The Thai government allows taxis, all other vehicles, to operate without liability coverage. What happened to the government selling insurance to all tourists on arrival? Guess they figured with all the deaths and injuries, the number of claims would would cost them too much money. This girl didn't even get a fruit basket. Not Chinese...  

Robin Lee | 11 May 2018 - 16:20:26

What about the insurance from the taxi and truck? These vehicles are supposed to have insurance.

Kurt | 11 May 2018 - 12:48:36

Why their travel insurance did not cover? What you have a travel insurance for?
Travel insurance should pay the hospital bills and after that goes after the persons/companies who are at fault during the accident.
In most cases a good travel insurance also includes juridical assistance/coverage in such cases.
Thai means of transport not have first class insurances? Not smart, Thailand!

simon01 | 11 May 2018 - 12:43:01

Surly the cost must be paid by the trucks insurance that hit her or the insurance of the taxi she was in as to carry passengers that must have been insured. She should not have had to pay a penny as she was not at fault. Or was it an unlicensed, uninsured taxi and truck?? Again if they were uninsured then surly the drivers are liable?? But why is the victim in anyway responsible??

Discover Thainess | 11 May 2018 - 12:36:45

This is absolutely disgraceful. If the govt worries so much about Thailand’s image then this should be number 1 on their list, not people shagging in a hotel in Pattaya. How can a taxi NOT have insurance to cover their passengers?

Fascinated | 11 May 2018 - 12:11:38

Why should her travel insurance pay even if she did have cover? The vehicle driver's insurance should cover it (be it the one responsible for the crash, or her taxi driver). 

All taxis and minibuses should be required to carry first class insurance to cover any injuries sustained by passengers. 

These Go Fund things are a real con and people should not rely on them when they get in troub...

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