Driver errors were cause of Brit backpacker Thai death crash

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on May 24, 2012

Three British teenagers were killed in a coach crash as they were enjoying a gap year in Thailand once the driver attempted a U-turn on a busy highway, the inquest into the incident has heard.

All aged 19, the youngsters, who were namely Max Boomgaarden-Cook, Bruno Melling-Firth, and Conrad Quashie, saved for months while in the UK and anticipated the “trip of a lifetime” around south-east Asia. The school friends though, who hailed from south London, were killed instantly after the coach they were on was hit by an oncoming bus on a highway running through Kamphaeng Phet Province in June last year.

They were travelling from the Thai capital Bangkok to Thailand’s second-largest city, Chiang Mai, located in the north,, when their coach crashed. The trio were merely five days into a trip that was meant to last nine-weeks and was to take in Indonesia, Laos, and Vietnam in addition to Thailand.

Thankfully, a fourth friend now aged 20, Jack Beagley, survived the crash and managed to escape with only minor injuries. Last night, coroner Dr Andrew Harris, along with the families of the boys, urged the UK’s foreign office to issue better warnings related to the dangers of travelling by bus in Thailand in the light of it being disclosed that the seats of the vehicle the boys were on had seats that weren’t fixed down without any seat belts.

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