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Phuket police set to formally charge Aussie jet-ski driver

PHUKET: Thomas Keating, the 22-year-old Australian whose rented jet-ski fatally crashed into that of his girlfriend Emily Collie, 20, will be called to Karon Police Station tomorrow (Feb 9) to be formally charged with reckless driving causing death.

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By Yutthawat Lekmak

Wednesday 8 February 2017, 04:28PM


The two jet-skis involved in Sunday's incident. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The two jet-skis involved in Sunday's incident. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

“Mr Keating will be required to present himself at Karon Police Station at 10am tomorrow (Feb 9) to be formally charged,” Karon Police Chief Col Sanya Thongsawad told The Phuket News this morning (Feb 8).

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

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. (See story here.)

“We expect the case to take about a month to be heard in court,” Col Sanya said.

Mr Keating will not be permitted go home in that time, he added.

“He will not be allowed to leave Thailand while the case is being heard as is standard procedure, his name will be added to the Immigration list to prevent him from leaving the country while the case is in court,” Col Sanya said.

However, Col Sanya added that he expected Mr Keating to be handed down no more than a two-year suspended sentence.

The Phuket News contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) in Australia to confirm whether the Australian Government was aware that Mr Keating is to be prevented from leaving Thailand while the case is heard in court. The Phuket News has yet to receive confirmation that is so.

Col Sanya said the Keating and Collie families had met in Phuket in the aftermath of Ms Collie’s death.

“The two families know each other very well. The Keating family said they were so sorry for what happened, and Ms Collie’s family said they know Mr Keating well and that no one wanted this to happen,” Col Sanya said.

“Ms Collie’s family said they understood that it was just an accident. They do not believe there was any intent on causing harm, or the death, of Ms Collie, and they also expressed their sympathies to Mr Keating for how he must feel,” he added.

Col Sanya explained police had no choice in pressing the reckless driving charge.

“By law in Thailand, when an incident results in the death of a person, police are required to formally press a charge,” he said.

Ms Collie’s family is expected to take her body back home to Australia this weekend, Col Sanya added.

“We are not exactly sure when as this depends on staff at Vachira Phuket Hospital completing procedural requirements,” he said.

 

 

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Jor12 | 10 February 2017 - 14:14:16

"By law in Thailand, when an incident results in the death of a person, police are required to formally press a charge" That is not a correct statement of Thai law. In fact, it would be an abuse of process if that were so. For example workers killed at work, or the most glaring example is the English badminton champion Rebecca Shaw who was killed when she and her driver were hit from beh...

Capt B | 09 February 2017 - 12:03:16

I do believe Mr Keating will require the services of an International Maritime Lawyer. Competent ones are available in Phuket.

Kurt | 09 February 2017 - 12:01:12

This whole sickening 'law affair' reminds me about the 'Red Bull Heir case'.
That guy  is almost a murder, many years ago charged.
He laughs about judges, prosecutors, police and thai Immigration.
He just relaxed in Singapore on a day his case is in thai court. Travels freely.
Judges and prosecutors bend their heads for him.

And Col Sanya talks about 'this is the thai la...

CaptainJack69 | 09 February 2017 - 11:56:46

"his name WILL be added to the Immigration list to prevent him from leaving the country" just time to drive down to the Malaysian border then, before he's charged with this bullsh*t.

"Police are required to formally press a charge" then charge the scum bag that ILLEGALLY rented them these floating death-traps. Silly me for thinking a Thai should be held responsible for b...

Kurt | 08 February 2017 - 21:32:18

I puke when I read a RTP ( police) employee is saying:.. "By Law"....
RTP Phuket is nothing doing by law on Phuket.
It is the most corrupt organization of Thailand.
See the cars they are driving, the houses they own. Not from their salaries.
When is Bangkok starting to clean up the corrupt Phuket police force?

Kurt | 08 February 2017 - 21:17:58

Unbelieveble! 
RTP employs many corrupt dombo's, but this is the most stupid affair you can imagine.
The accident was a 'family affair', and the partner now even blocked to bring the body of his friend home and do burial ceremonies?

Hold him in Phuket, and the thai idiots can take 1 month to be heard in Court? 

It is very funny that when it comes to crimes committed by police o...

BenPendejo | 08 February 2017 - 19:20:40

Col Sanya said "By law in Thailand, when an incident results in the death of a person, police are required to formally press a charge”.  Unless the killer is Thai and has lots of money, then it's OK to do nothing...even if it was blatant recklessness.  This place just seems more effed up all the time... like by the day.

malczx7r | 08 February 2017 - 17:44:05

What a sad case, maybe he should say he was driving a minivan, then he'd get off with a fine, stupid and yet still the curse of the jetskis remain!!

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