Man faces charges after girlfriend killed on jetski
THAI police have confirmed an Australian man is facing charges over the death of his girlfriend after a tragic jetski accident at a popular tourist beach.
Thomas Keating, 22, is likely to be charged with reckless driving causing death when his jetski collided with another jetski being driven by his 20-year-old girlfriend Emily Collie, from Leeton, NSW.
The accident happened around 4.45pm (local time) when the pair collided head-on at high speed leaving Ms Collie with severe neck and shoulder injuries. She was pronounced dead a short time later at Vachira Phuket Hospital
"People on the beach tried to rescue her and send her to a hospital," said Patiwat Yodkwan, a senior police officer on the island, adding that her partner was not seriously injured in the accident.
Police were waiting for an autopsy to determine exactly how the woman died, he said.
"We are still investigating the cause of the accident. The boyfriend is in mourning and crying, so we cannot ask him much.
"Her parents are coming to Phuket to collect her body and they are expected to arrive on Wednesday," Lt Patiwat said.
The Phuket News reported that the owner of the jetskis ridden by Mr Keating and Ms Collie has not taken any payment for damages caused to the jetskis and that insurance coverage on the jetski entitles Ms Collies parents to a payout of B50,000 (AUD$1865).
"The owner of the two jetskis did not want money for the damage because he wants Phuket to have a good reputation as a holiday destination," Lt Patiwat said.
"In addition, the insurance coverage of the jetski will pay B50,000 compensation for the death of Ms Collie," he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Keating took to facebook to pay tribute to his "beautiful girl".
"My beautiful girl!! Taken from us far too soon. I love you so much Emily and I wish I could just bring you back into my arms. I'm so broken and I know I'll never be able to mend.
"I'll always be your boy and you'll always be my girl. We had so many plans for our future Emmy ..."
Mr Keating said strong sunlight reflected off the sea making it impossible to see the jetski of Ms Collie, leading to the crash.
Tourism is a crucial pillar of Thailand's economy, but accidents involving travellers are common amid lax and often weakly-enforced safety regulations.
Yet the dire safety record has not deterred travellers from visiting, with Thailand welcoming a record 32 million tourists in 2016.