Leeds & West Yorkshire

Badminton player killed in Thailand moped crash

Rebecca Shaw Image copyright Manchester Evening News Syndication
Image caption Rebecca Shaw was a pillion passenger on a moped which was ridden across a four-lane carriageway in Phuket and into the path of a truck

An England team badminton player was killed in Thailand when her friend drove their moped into the path of a truck, an inquest heard.

Rebecca Shaw, 32, from Huddersfield, was on her way to swim with elephants when the crash happened in Phuket in December 2015.

Her friend, Julie Robinson, escaped with minor injuries.

Bradford Coroner's Court heard the exact details of the crash were unclear due to conflicting witness accounts.

Coroner Martin Fleming said the driver of the Toyota pick-up truck, Natthaphon Klomkhan, told police he was driving at approximately 60kph (37.5mph) when the moped drove from a side road, across a four-lane carriageway, and directly in front of his vehicle.

Mr Klomkhan said he braked, sounded his horn and flashed his lights but was unable to avoid hitting the bike.

'Little margin for error'

Ms Robinson, who did not attend the inquest, said she checked before driving across the road, and claimed the truck was being driven at excessive speeds, and had failed to take evasive action.

In an email sent by Ms Robinson to the coroner in July, she said: "He just drove straight into the back of the scooter, sending both of us flying through the air at some height."

Describing the aftermath of the crash, Ms Robinson described blood pouring out of her friend's mouth when her head hit a metal barrier.

She was twice resuscitated at the scene but died later in hospital, the inquest heard.

Mr Fleming said photographs of the scene showed Ms Robinson's view would have been obscured and that crossing the carriageway would have left little margin for error.

He said it was unclear whether the truck driver was going too fast.

The inquest also heard police in Thailand had considered charging Ms Robinson in connection with the incident.

The coroner ruled Ms Shaw, who was wearing a helmet, died as a result of head injuries sustained in a road traffic collision.

She played for the England national team 10 times and was described by her family as a "real-life angel".

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