KRABI — A French tourist was struck and killed by a speedboat propeller as she was snorkeling in Krabi province yesterday, police say.
The speedboat driver surrendered himself to police earlier today, a day after fleeing the crime scene – an action a police officer brushed off as a "misunderstanding." The suspect has been charged with reckless behavior leading to the death of another.
According to police, Thiebau Hylie was snorkeling with her family near Poda island on Tuesday when a speedboat approached the area. Marine police officer Anurak Prinyasthirakul said her relatives waved and tried to warn the driver not to come any closer, but he didn’t notice their warning.
The blade hit Hylie’s head as the captain was turning the boat, Police Lt.Col. Anurak said. The boat driver then fled the scene, Anurak told reporters. Hylie reportedly died at the scene.
Police identified the driver as Yothin Suebsak. He works for a speedboat company called Amazing Canoeing.
Sompong Thip-aphakul, head of Krabi Police Station, said Yothin surrendered himself to police today and was subsequently charged with reckless behavior leading to the death of another. He was allowed to leave the police station as there was no arrest warrant for him, Police Col. Sompong said.
A police officer inspecting the boat on Jan. 5, 2016.
Asked about the attempt by Yothin to flee the scene of the crime yesterday, Sompong said there might have been some misunderstanding.
“There was misunderstanding between the driver and the company. He was driving the boat for tourists for his company. So when he alerted the company that a tourist had died in an accident, the company thought it was one of its tourists and ordered him to come back to the shore,” Police Col. Sompong explained.
A staff member at Amazing Canoeing Ltd. said her manager declines to speak to the media at the moment.
Speedboats accidents are frequent in Thailand. In December 2014 a Norwegian tourist died after he was struck by a speedboat off Koh Tao, a popular diving destination in southern Thailand.
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