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Tommo pal dies in Phuket bike smash

PHUKET: A British expat died last night (Wednesday) after crashing his motorcycle near Phuket Fantasea in Kamala.

Thursday 24 November 2011, 11:26AM

Jason Richards, 40, was killed in a motorcycle accident while riding home last night.

Jason Richards, 40, was killed in a motorcycle accident while riding home last night.

Jason Richards, 40, was riding home from The Aussie Bar in Kamala when the crash occurred.

In a cruel twist of fate, Mr Richards was a good friend of Steve ‘Tommo’ Thomas, the former British Royal Marine who is recovering in hospital in Wales after being involved in a motorbike accident in Phuket in September. The two men went through school together.

Mr Richards had been living in Udon Thani, in Thailand’s northeast, for the past three years, and came to Phuket only when he learned of Tommo’s accident after reading it in the news.

He visited Tommo regularly in Phuket until the injured ex-Marine was flown back to Wales last month, at which point Mr Richards decided to stay in Phuket and make a fresh start.

News of the accident has already spread to the For Steve ‘Tommo’ Thomas Facebook page, where it has been met with an outpouring of grief.

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Angie McCulley, secretary of the Royal Marines Association Phuket, came to know Mr Richards while both were helping look after Tommo in hospital.

She wrote on the Facebook page: “Such a tragic waste of a young life … Was only talking to Jason in our local Tesco (he lived in the same village as me) on Monday and he was saying how happy he was here in Kamala and life couldn’t be any better for him … Such a lovely young man with a heart of gold.”

Friend and Phuket resident Katie Wellington also wrote: “Jason will return to his homeland with much love from his friends from the Land of Smiles – his time with us was a short time but one which we will always remember.”

Mr Richards was reportedly wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, though he did not have it clipped up.

–Photo by Katakate



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