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Italian tourist, 59, dies in motorbike fall at Big Buddha viewpoint

PHUKET: Italian tourist Giovanni Spatafora, 59, has died from severe head injuries after falling off a motorbike he was a passenger on while descending the steep hill from the Big Buddha viewpoint on Sunday (Dec 24), Chalong Police have confirmed.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 27 December 2017, 07:19PM

Rescue workers attend to Mr Spatafora at the scene of the accident. Photo: Chalong Police

Rescue workers attend to Mr Spatafora at the scene of the accident. Photo: Chalong Police

Mr Spatafora suffered severe head injuries when his head struck a small concrete pole hidden among tall grass by the roadside, explained Lt Chanat Hongsitthichaikul of the Chalong Police.

Mr Spatafora was a passenger on the motorbike and not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, Lt Chanat confirmed.

The motorbike was driven by a Thai woman, who Lt Chanat declined to identify. Reports in the Italian media note that Mr Spatafora was travelling on a motorbike taxi at the time of the accident. (See story here.)

“I received a report of the motorbike accident at 6pm,” Lt Chanat told The Phuket News today (Dec 27).


“The man (Mr Spatafora) passed away at Vachira Phuket Hospital at about 7pm that night,” he said.

Mr Spatafora’s body remains at Vachira Phuket Hospital, in Phuket Town, Lt Chanat said this afternoon.

“I am compiling the report to send to the Italian consul (in Phuket) now,” he said.



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Timothy | 29 December 2017 - 08:58:44

The Police charged Danny Glass for reckless driving causing the death of his girlfriend. Let's see what happens to this Thai lady....I'd be very surprised if any charges are laid. Maybe a small fine... 

Christy Sweet | 29 December 2017 - 08:54:59

If the driver were foreign, we'd have their details and they might well already have a charge against them. The driver of any conveyance is responsible under the law. 

Pauly44 | 28 December 2017 - 20:23:41

laying blame is easy, amazing Thailand!

Kurt | 28 December 2017 - 14:37:04

True is true. I like to say that every time I took a M/C taxi I got a helmet offered. 
Than I asked the driver not to drive to fast as I was not in a hurry. It always was fine and safe.
Perhaps this lady M/c taxi lost balance with the Italian passenger?
Perhaps she was not used to the weight of the passenger?

But the hiding/declining of the RTP officer is not correct.
It shows again: Touris...

ematt | 28 December 2017 - 13:13:04

"Not many details of what happened here" indeed. In fact, none.  

But that does not stop PN posters of being "certain" where to lay blame. Amazing.

crispy | 28 December 2017 - 12:45:18

I have to admit i have ridden many times on m/c taxis without a helmet i suppose you pay your money and take your chances sad occurance and you know the consequences if you stuff up .   

BenPendejo | 28 December 2017 - 11:19:33

Not many details of what happened here, but one thing is certain is that a tourist was likely the victim of reckless and irresponsible regulation of public transport. Public transport in Thailand, generally speaking, is an utter free-for-all with no concern given to anything except making baht. The moto-taxi driver probably has no valid license, did not have helmet available, and is still at work.

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