Farang Biker killed in hit-and-run accident last night!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by GypsyRider, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. GypsyRider

    GypsyRider Ol'Timer

    It's with great sadness that I am writing to inform you of the tragic death of a very close friend of mine. Francis Buyens, a 51-year old Belgian biker and long-term resident of Thailand, got killed last night in a hit-and-run accident when he was riding his old Vespa scooter with his 7 year old daughter Natasha. On their way home (their property is located on the road leading to Doi Khun Tan National Park) last night around 7pm a car hit them from the rear at very high speed. There were in fact two cars that appeared to be racing each other and both cars just kept going after the collision with the scooter. Natasha survived the accident with cuts and bruises as she was protected from the impact by her father (she sat in front of him) but for Francis the impact was fatal. He died this morning at the McCormick hospital in Chiang Mai. We didn't have a chance to say farewell anymore as he did not regain consciousness after the accident. Francis also has a 32-year old daughter in Belgium from a previous marriage who will fly to Thailand today together with a sister of Francis to attend his funeral.

    I don't know if you have ever met Francis. Perhaps you have during CNX bike week but you might not recall the encounter, as he was a soft-spoken man, a very gentle soul, and a true family man who kept a low profile. He was an active member of the MC Sweet Demons of Chiang Mai, a Thai biker club. He attended various bike weeks all over Thailand (Pattaya, Phuket, CNX, etc) with his club friends. If I'm not mistaken, Francis was perhaps the only regular farang member of the club (he spoke Thai). In fact, today (Sunday) the MC Sweet Demons had planned a ride to Francis' 10-rai property 22 kms south of Lamphun in order to have lunch with Francis and his family. Sadly enough, at this very moment they are now gathering, but instead of celebrating their friendship they are now mourning his sudden death.

    Every weekend Francis would take his daughter Natasha (who attends the English program at Varee School) on cycling trips (he used to compete in MTB races in Thailand) and motorcycle & scooter rides on his Yamaha XVS 1100 Dragstar and his vintage Vespa. Francis also owned a beautifully restored classic Mini, and was an active member of the Morris Mini club of Thailand. His favourite activity during the holidays was to go camping with his wife and daughter in the national parks, for which they travelled all over Thailand.

    In his younger days back in Belgium Francis was an enthusiastic enduro rider (he owned an Aprilia 250 two-stroker among others) and together we fondly reminisced about the 'good old days' when it was still possible to explore the forests and fields in Belgium on dirt bikes as the many trails were legally still open access common resources for all to enjoy. In fact, Francis was eagerly looking forward to get back into trail riding again with me as soon as I had rebuilt my two KTM 450 dirt bikes for which Justin (Big & Tall) had just brought back some clutch parts from the US. Alas, it is too late now, I regret now that my bikes were not ready in time and that we never went trail riding together (we did on the MTB's, but not on the dirt bikes). I will always remember the moment when he entered my garage for the first time and saw my KTM's and the big smile this discovery put on his face.

    Francis came to Thailand more than twenty years ago when he was sent by a Belgian company to set up a new diamond cutting and polishing factory in BKK. This is were he met his wife Maream who worked in admin for the same company. Francis spent almost his entire career outside his native Belgium as an expat setting up and managing diamond factories. If I remember correctly, he set up new factories in Algeria, Greece, Thailand, North Korea, Vietnam and India. In 2007 he returned to Thailand after his last expat assignment during which he spent five years in India as the general manager in charge of 3 diamond factories with a combined work force of several thousands.

    I'm writing and sending you this obituary-in-a-nutshell as I have no means of posting this tragic news on the GT-Rider forum for the simple reason that I don't remember my password anymore. My 'handle' for the forum was 'Gypsyrider'. I don't know if Francis knew many GT-Riders, but some might have met him at one of the bike weeks he attended in the past. I also know that he knew Richie (from Richco) quite well, so I presume some other farangs in the custom bike scene might have met him. His wife asked me to post a message of his death on GT-Rider, so I would appreciate it very much if you could do this on her and my behalf.

    Thank you and my best regards,

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Tragic news indeed & my deepest sympathy goes to Francis family & friends.

    RIP Francis.

    Jan Marc, Fixed the post for you, plus altered your password. Pls check your email.
    Best wishes & condolences.
  4. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    Hello Jan Marc:

    So sorry to hear about the death of your friend. My deepest condolences to his family.
  5. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Jean Marc,

    Please relay my deepest condolences and affected regards to all Francis Family and Relatives.

    As already many of us said, it's allways sad to learn about such tragic event whatever nationality.

    I am very concern about this sad news.

  6. mezcal

    mezcal Ol'Timer

    My heartfelt condolences to his family.
  7. rmbike

    rmbike Ol'Timer

    rip a true biker

    best wishes to his family and friends
  8. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Sincere condolences to Family & Friends.
    An eloquent & fitting eulogy Jean Marc.
    Requiescat in Pace Francis.
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    What terrible sad news.
    Heartfelt condolences to his friends and family and his poor daughter - lucky to be alive but how traumatic it must be to lose one's father in such a way... :cry:
    RIP Francis
  10. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    I find the all to frequent reports of accidents both a jolt of reality in Thailand and also quite upsetting.
    GypsyRider's brief epitaph about this a loving family man as well as one of the good guys was another jolt.
    Any death is saddening, but to lose one's life via the complete carelessness and disregard of others is terrible.
    Though it would provide little solace to the family, we can only hope the culprits can be found and appropriately punished.
  11. ron

    ron Active Member

    sad and shocking news , my deepest condolences to family and all relatives , rip Francis

    thanks Marc for posting background story

    i lost a friended belgian couple in tsunami , they where also active in diamond factory bkk

    www.hacuttingworks.com/th/history ( maybe related ? )

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