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Phuket jet-ski death: Victim’s family show strong support as devastated boyfriend charged

PHUKET: Australian tourist Thomas Keating was formally charged with reckless driving causing death at Karon Police Station this morning (Feb 9).

By The Phuket News

Thursday 9 February 2017, 05:40PM

In a strong show of support for Mr Keating, members of both families and Mr Keating all held hands as they entered the police station. Photo: Premkamon Ketsara

In a strong show of support for Mr Keating, members of both families and Mr Keating all held hands as they entered the police station. Photo: Premkamon Ketsara

The charges are for the fatal jet-ski collision last Sunday (Feb 5) that resulted in the death of his girlfriend of two years, Emily Jayne Collie, a 20-year-old student from Victoria, Australia.

Mr Keating, 22, and Ms Collie were riding jet-skis near Kata Beach at 4:45pm when they collided in the water at high speed, leaving Ms Collie with severe injuries to her neck and shoulders.

Mr Keating said strong sunlight reflected off the sea and made it impossible to see the jet-ski of Ms Collie, leading to the crash.

Despite efforts by rescue workers on the beach, Ms Collie was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Mr Keating arrived at Karon Police Station today at about 10:30am, accompanied by Ms Collie’s family. His father arrived a few moments later.

In a strong show of support for Mr Keating, members of both families and Mr Keating all held hands as they entered the police station.

Members of the press were not permitted to attend the formal reading of the charge.

“Both families were still in deep sadness,” Karon Police Chief Col Sanya Thongsawad later today confirmed to The Phuket News,

“We did not allow any media or reporters to come inside the inquiry room while police investigator talked with Mr Keating,” he added.

QSI International School Phuket

Col Sanya confirmed that Mr Keating was still being questioned by police at 5:20pm today.

Ms Collie’s body was flown back to her home town in Australia last night (Feb 8), he noted.

To make clear the family’s support for Mr Keating, who has posted online comments relating the devastating emotional impact Ms Collie’s death has had on him, Ms Collie’s family issued a statement to the media, provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The statement reads:

We are in the midst of grieving through the sudden loss of our precious daughter Emily. This was a tragic accident. We do not believe anybody was at fault. In particular, we do not place any blame on Tom Keating, who we care about very much and who we know loved Emily deeply.

We are all heartbroken beyond words, and at this extremely sad time, we wish to be together with our family, with Tom, and with other loved ones to grieve and celebrate Emily's life. We do not wish to speak with the press at this very painful time, and ask that those wishes be respected.

Ian and Sally Collie

Additional reporting by JP Mestanza and Premkamon Ketsara



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Jet Skis | 09 February 2017 - 21:26:26

Time to start wearing helmets when riding jetskis.

BenPendejo | 09 February 2017 - 21:24:56

Peace and love to both families.

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