Two British tourists killed by runaway truck on holiday in Thailand

Two British tourists killed by runaway truck  on holiday in Thailand

Two British friends from Greater Manchester have been killed by an out-of-control truck while on holiday in Thailand.

Derek Gent, 69, and Michael Holmes, 68, both from Rochdale, were walking along a road in Koh Samui on Saurday 23 March when they were knocked down by the pick-up truck and killed instantly.

They had been holidaying together with their wives, and were reportedly staying at a hotel near the accident site.

The truck originally collided with a Toyota Corolla and veered off the road, hitting Mr Gent and Mr Holmes, before smashing into a tea shop.

The driver of the Toyota, who was unharmed, told police the truck had tried to overtake him while he was on his way home from the beach.

The driver of the truck is critically ill in a Bangkok hospital.

Mr Gent was a retired head of Trading Standards at Oldham Council, and his colleagues paid tribute to him this week.

John Battye, a fellow Oldham councillor, told the Manchester Evening News: "Derek was very professional and transformed our service from mediocre to first class.

"He was a very tall, handsome fellow and had quite a presence."

Both men lived a few yards away from each other, with Mr Gent residing in Croft Head Drive, and Mr Holmes - a father of three - coming from Yeoman's Close.

One neighbour said: "They were both absolutely wonderful men. Everyone is still in shock."

Another added: "Our thoughts are with both families. It is just absolutely tragic."

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are aware of the death of two British nationals in Thailand on 23 March. We are providing full consular assistance to the families at this time."

According to the BBC, the FCO addd that part of the support it provides would be to repatriate the bodies of the men.

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