Thomas Keating, the 22-year-old Australian whose rented jet-ski fatally crashed into that of his girlfriend Emily Collie, 20, was called to Karon Police Station this morning to be formally charged with reckless driving causing death.
Keating and Collie were riding jet-skis near Kata Beach at 4:45pm on Sunday when they collided in the water at high speeds, leaving Collie with severe injuries to her neck and shoulders that led to her death on the beach a short time later.
Keating said that strong sunlight reflected off the sea and made it impossible to see the jet-ski of
Collie, leading to the crash.
“We expect the case to take about a month to be heard in court,” said Karon Police Chief Sanya Thongsawad.
“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.
Col. Sanya also revealed that he expected Keating to be handed no more than a two-year suspended sentence.
The Keating and Collie families met in Phuket in the aftermath of Collie’s death. “The two families know each other very well. The Keating family said they were so sorry for what happened, and Collie’s family said they know Keating well and that no one wanted this to happen,” Col. Sanya said.
“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 Collie, and they also expressed their sympathies to Keating for how he must feel,” he added.
Col. Sanya explained that the 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.
Collie’s family is expected to take her body back home to Australia this weekend, Col. Sanya added.
Story: The Phuket News