Accident on road between Mae Sariang and Mae Sot

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Tom Forde, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. The accident occurred on the road between Mae Sariang and Mae Sot, near a village just south of Ramai.
    John was riding with me on my GS650 Dakar and Ken on his 1000cc Yamaha Fazer. We were behind the forward pack (as we thought) and were looking for a drink stop, as there is very few signed 7/11’s or such along this strip of road.
    Unbeknown to us the faster riders had previously found a drink stop, and despite their efforts to hail us down, we rode past.
    As we were riding in a group of three, suddenly a couple of our faster riders passed us on a fast left hand corner, John was behind me and suddenly took off after the 2 riders who where on similar bikes ( 650 Kwaka Ninjas). He went wide on the corner and his line took him into the path of a local pickup truck full of kids, just finishing school. Lucklily it was only doing a few k’s an hour.
    John dropped his bike as he seen the truck and slid on his left side straight into the grill.
    He was no more than 20 metres in front of me, Ken and Ian who was coming up on the rear behind us.
    We immediately pulled up but we were not quick enough to stop reversing his vehicle after he got out and saw John trapped under his grill and right wheel. Once Ken and I got there we immediately took the keys out of the ignition and got the 10 or so kids out of the back of the truck, so we could lever up the right guard and body off John’s leg.
    Once his leg was free, Ken and I gently pulled him to the side of the road, in the same position. After examining him for anybody damages and making sure he was conscious and lucid we asked him questions to keep him conscious.
    Meanwhile the Thais had already phoned the police and ambulance, who where there within 10 or so minutes.
    John was a very lucky man, his Armour and helmet saved his life, although badly bruised, and he sustained a broken leg.
    I believe another web site has put photographs up, however this just goes to show you that you need to know your limitations on your bike and make sure that not only that you are well kitted out, also make sure that your bike is in good roadworthy condition.
    When Jeff Pike finishs the full ride he will post a full report and photos, I was too busy looking after John. I believe other riders took photos and perhaps will post them.
    Buddha is looking after John and I wish him a swift recovery.
    All riders out there, ride within your limits and wear appropriate riding gear.
  2. Yikes! Well, for a head-on collision I guess he's fairly lucky! Certainly could have been worse.

    Good thing you guys were there to get him out from under the wreck and keep him talking and lucid until help arrived.

    Out of curiosity- did a real ambulance come get him or was it the usual rescue foundation pickup? Just curious what kind of help exists in that part (or any part) of this country.

    Wishing John a speedy recovery.

    Take it easy everyone! Know your limits and don't push them on public roads!

    Ride On!

  3. Christ!, that was hard to keep reading through as I kept expecting the worst of news to appear. That is about as lucky a tale as I have heard all things considered. Wishing John a quick heal on that leg. I'll be riding a bit slower on the way home from work tonight I think.
  4. Good point Tony,
    The local police were excellent as were the Paramedics who turned up in a real ambulance all within a short time.
    John's leg was put in a splint by a nurse and he was handled very carefully onto a mobile stretcher, then into the back of the ambulance, along with his gear bag.
    The police took photos and then we manhandled John's bike into the back of the recovery pickup that they provided.
    Considering no one spoke english the Thai's were helpful and very professional. Pikey and Rus followed it to a regional clinic, he was stablised then taken to Mae Sot, were he was operated on and released a few days later.
    Just a foot note, there was plent of plastic around the crash site including 2 smashed concrete posts. Obviously a very dangerous corner, although to look at it, it didn't look that bad.

    Take care.
  5. The cops were pretty cool about it all and nary a ticket book in sight. If that was Canada we all would have got speeding tickets for good measure.

    The ambulance while better than the usual meat wagon, was not so well equipped and did not have a back board or even proper splints. What sufficed for a splint was an old board and a lose bit of sheet wrapped around his leg.
    Thank god he was not badly hurt as the ambulance was little more than a fancy van
  6. It is approximately 200km from Mae Sariang to Mae Sot with little in between. About the halfway point is a relatively good sized village and the accident occurred about 10km from there. It was just before the first checkpoint for the refugee camp, for those familiar with the area. The hospital, was approximately 10km and although not the ambulance was not well equipped, it was much better than being thrown in the back of a pick up truck by the "body snatchers".

    As stated above, the police were very professional and treated everyone with courtesy and were quite helpful.

    I will post a couple photos, but I hesitate to post more of John at the scene, as I do not know him well. and I am not sure how he feels about having his picture splashed across the internet at a time like that. It is important that we take away a lesson from others misfortune however.

    He is very fortunate to not have much more serious injuries. I am sure that can be attributed to him wearing proper riding gear. I wish him a speedy recovery.


    All the plastic around the bike, is from a previous car accident at the same place.

    Note the scrapes on the concrete in these photos.


  7. Best of luck with the recovery to John - he's certainly used up one of his nine lives there, getting out of a head on collision with only a broken leg (well and I am sure many, many bruises) is really lucky. Lots of things went his way - the good riding buddies, the local police, and the local ambulance, all as good as you can reasonably expect, really. Safety gear seems to have performed perfectly as well - impressive.

    Now he has a story for the grandkids: I hit a car head on with the motorbike and only got a broken leg. Tough guy!! :)
  8. Hi Guys................well the guy is me (John) and the bent up ER6 is whats left of my pride and joy...................i want to thank everybody from the haze of my morphine induced stupour administered at CM Ram where i am currently undergoing some modifications and periodic maintainance fo being so kind in wishing me well but especially to my riding buddies that day
    Ian - Triumph Tiger
    Tim - CBR 1300
    Rob - Kaw Versys
    Jeff - Triumph Bonneville
    Phil - Suzuki DRZ 400 SM
    Russ - Kaw KLX 250
    Dave - Suzuki DR650
    Tom - BMW F650gs Dakar
    Ken - FZ1
    Con - Er-6
    Duncan - Er-6

    who organised getting me from under the songtaew and safely to hospital and oversaw to things until
    my g/f had arrived from to the damage?well the bike is there to see,but i have a broken left tibia,my legs are still swollen and bruised 10 days later,a cracked shoulder blade and a damaged kidney............all in all i feel like i have been run over by a songtaew,fortunately i am on the mend despite a huge amount of pain and cetainly hope to be out of hospital within a couple of weeks.................i was going to write a post mortem to what actally happened and my feelings on how it could have been avoided but the ceiling of the hospital room has started to do crazy interesting things again so i will leave that until another day

    Regards to all John ER6 (terminated)
  9. Glad to Hear You are on the Mend Mate! I was right behind You with Tom so we got a Birdseye View of the entire thing! Looked like it was in Slow Motion! Luckily You parted company with Your Bike before Impact as when it Hit the SongTaew it seemed to Explode and then cartwheel off to the Roadside!!! So You were left clear to impact with the Songtaew by Yourself! Unfortunately it hadn't yet come to a complete Halt so after You went under it You were then Rolled back the way You came for maybe a Car length!!! This is what did the Damage but if He had of been going Faster it would have been much worse!!! Anyone can get caught up in an accident and Who's fault it is is really irrelevant when You are the Person Injured so I wish You all the Best and hope You make a fast and full recovery! See You Soon.
  10. Good to hear you are on the mend John.
    Looking forward to catching up once you are out of hospital.

  11. G'day John

    Glad to hear from you mate as I have tried to contact you by phone and email - but sounds if you are receiving the right treatment now and on the mend.
    I am in Rayong at present but will be back at Ram on the 23/02 so seeya then.

    Speedy Recovery
    Ken F
  12. Good to hear from you John and best of luck with the recovery!
  13. Good one John and from the visits I know you are in good hands - both from your lovely GF "Noi" and the docs & nurses in Ram. Enjoy the lazy life and pampering whilst you can!

    Tom said I was going to do a trip report with photos but as I didn't really take any pics, that's going to be kind of difficult. What I'll do is note the route and stop offs so as other riders can potentially do this large loop.

    Day 1. Chiang Mai to Mae Sot

    Met at Riders Corner and had a hearty breakfast and then left Chiang Mai at about 09:45 headed south on the 108 for Hot. Due to the different types of bikes & speed of riders, we decided to regroup at Hot market before following the river via Ob Luang to Mae Sarieng. This is a ripper of a road and very picturesque with not too much traffic.

    We arrived in Mae Sarieng for lunch where we regrouped again only to then split into 2 groups so as we could get lunch done in a reasonable amount of time as there were 12 of us. We ate at a couple of restaurants down by the river - simple but filling fayre.

    The afternoon was a blat down the 105 to Mae Sot where about 70km before our overnight destination, John had his unfortunate coming together with the local school songtaew. Again, as has been said before, praises for all involved - Thai and farang for the cooperation in minimizing the trauma to John although as Hoghead said, the "ambulance" and it's accompanying facilities were somewhat lacking. John was taken to the local hospital in Tha Song Yang where he was x-rayed and the extent of his injuries was logged. At this time, me and Russ were with him and all I remember him saying is "f*ck, f*ck, f*ck" repeatedly as he was in a hell of a lot of pain and they wouldn't/couldn't give him anything for it until they assessed him.

    After talking with the police and doctors and getting the news that he would be stabilized there and then be transferred to Mae Sot hospital, myself & Russ left for Mae Sot. After catching up with the others at The First Hotel (350/night - big room), showering & eating, a few of us went to MS hospital to check on John. He was still in a lot of pain but better and comforted by the fact that his GF was on her way from Chiang Mai.

    OK - one man down but no excuse not to party! We ended up in some dodgy area with some beer bars but probably because of the events of the day and the fact that we'd done about 400km on twisties, it was a subdued evening.

    Day 2. Mae Sot to Loei

    Up bright & early and breakfast at Krua Canadian where we ate the night before. Great food in there BTW. After brekkie it was a mass visit to John who was in a lot better shape than the day before and had Noi by his side.

    We left MS and gassed up on the way out of town before heading east on the 105 to Tak where we said goodbye to Dave & Phil who had to return to CM before picking up highway 12 and hammering thru Sukhothai and Phitsanoluk, stopping at Nakhon Thai for lunch. The higway is high speed and I had the Bonnie pinned at around 140 - 150 most of the way. Looking at my "wingmen" in the mirrors, I couldn't stop myself thinking about Mad Max and warriors of the wasteland kind of stuff. Nine loud bikes travelling at a relatively high speed must be an impressive sight to a bystander!

    After lunch we took the great 2013 & 203 roads via Dan Sai to Loei where we plotted up in the King Hotel for 500/night and ate up the road at a steak house/Italian. After that it was a mooch around town, a few beers and off to bed.

    450km travelled today.

    Day 3. Loei to Nan

    The morning saw us saying goodbye to a few more riders leaving the nucleus of myself and Bungy on our Triumphs, Con & Duncan on ER6s, and Russell on his KLX250 which although underpowered for yesterday's high spped stuff would be perfect for the unknown road conditions ahead.

    The group headed to CM backtracked to Dan Sai before heading home via route 11/Uttaradit whilst we decided to head north to Chiang Khan and follow the Thai/Laos border before cutting in to Nan via a national park. The road to Chiang Khan was fine - pretty fast and open but after then what we'd been told was "a bit potholey" turned out to be a mix of potholes and no road at all - just rough gravel sand & dust where the tarmac had either been completely worn away or had been scraped off in prepapation for resurfacing. Either way, it made for quite a bit on up on the pegs riding but was fun. Lunch was looked for but skipped as nothing suitable presented itself. After a great ride on the 1083 through a national park, we arrived in Nan and checked into the Grand Mansion before heading out to Da Darios for an early start on the beer & pizza. Total 425km today.

    Day 4. Nan to Chiang Rai

    Up bright and early due to us all being tired/drunk by about 10pm the night before and off north out of town towards Pua to pickup the 1148. A stop in Song Khwae for a much needed Sponsor drink and then onto Chiang Kham for a KFC lunch. After lunch we headed towards Thoen but split off right before the town onto the 1155. Taking the 1155 north in the Phu Chi Fa area and there is a turn to the left for the Phiya Phiyak road (Doi Yao?). This road looks spectacular from across the vally but riding it reveals it's very tight and steep and difficult to put a flowing ride together. The road does intersect with the 1020 where you can do a left back to Thoen. A bit of a tip here if you are heading to Chiang Rai - don't follow the signs to CR, rather go via Phaya Mengrai/Wiang Chai and save yourself 30km over the signposted route. We arrived in CR mid afternoon and Bungy got us a decent rate (900b) at the Wiang Come hotel right in the heart of things. After a massage & some beers, things got a bit messy which meant a delayed midday start back to CM the next day. Day 4 mileage - 300km and day 5 back to CM via the 1/118 approx 180km.

    Great trip, great roads, great travelling buddies and although John is not exactly where he wants to be, like others have said, it could have been a lot, lot worse.


  14. Sounds like you gents may have paid a visit to "The Womb". An evening there resulted in not just a delayed midday start for me, but kept me in CR for an additional full day and night. :)
  15. This is from the thread on the other board:

    I'd posted the following observation:
    "Upon viewing the pictures of the accident and damage to the bike and then read that the only major injury suffered was a broken leg. I think that John was very lucky that his injuries weren't more severe! Yet, from the photos and skid marks, it appears that he may have been going to fast to maintain control in his own lane, which likely caused the accident.

    The accident reinforces the oft mentioned rule that one should always wear protective gear. In this case, it may have saved his life.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery..."

    Later in the thread, Pikey commented the accident was caused primarily by rider fault:

    "FYI, the cause of the accident was pure rider error - as others have said, and as John admits himself, he just went in too fast. No dogs, kids, rabbits, aliens with diesel squirting water pistols e.t.c. Having said that, there is a lot of other debris thrown off the road in that corner - plastics from pickup trucks e.t.c so although it looked like a pretty standard left hander, it's claimed victims before."

    So, be careful out there guys....dangers are everywhere on Thai roads, just don't be a danger to yourself!
  16. Happens to even the best riders sometimes. Especially on unfamiliar roads. It's how you respond that matters. At least he had the good sense/instinct to lay it down into a lowside and get the hell away from the bike instead of trying to hang on and end up getting tangled up with it. But he remains a lucky man indeed.

  17. Glad to hear your on the slow mend John,

    I was on that road a few days before you lot and in my 8 day ride i reckon that excess speed into corners or misjudged tightening bends put me on the wrong side of danger a few times , we all do it from time to time even experienced riders get tired ,lose focus or get carried away 99.999999% of the time its OK but ...........

    On the other hand on many, many occaisions I was on the correct side of the road and at an appropriate speed and clean line when an unskilled ,unfocused Thai came round the bend on the wrong side and forced me to correct my line often onto the wrong line or sand or gravel or making my turn even tighter putting me into danger.

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