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British boss investigated over Thailand death crash

British boss investigated over Thailand death crash

British Boss Investigated: British CEO of luxury hotel firm is quizzed by police in Thailand after running over and killing a rubbish collector in his luxury Mercedes

A British man is being investigated by Thai police after his Mercedes-Benz ploughed into a rubbish collector, killing him instantly and scattering his body over the road.

Paul John Mercer, CEO of CCD Thailand, an international developer of luxury hotels, allegedly hit the unidentified man as he was pushing his rubbish cart in Phuket during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Police and rescue workers reportedly found bits of the man’s body scattered over the road, and the black Mercedes with part of its front torn off and a smashed, bloody windscreen.

His body was dragged for about 40 metres along the road, according to the Bangkok Post.


Paul John Mercer is being questioned by Thai authorities about the accident in Phuket in which a rubbish collector was allegedly knocked down and killed
Paul John Mercer is being questioned by Thai authorities about the accident in Phuket in which a rubbish collector was allegedly knocked down and killed

The 33-year-old driver, from Salford, near Manchester, was immediately sent to a nearby hospital for injuries to his eyes caused by the impact to the windscreen.

Police are barred from seeing or questioning Mr Mercer until his condition improves and he is discharged from the hospital, but officers have submitted a request to test his blood for alcohol.

If found guilty of driving over the alcohol limit, Mr Mercer could be charged with reckless driving causing death, and would be sent to a local court for trial.

Police Captain Worawut Sensop, deputy investigation chief at Thalang police station, told MailOnline that police have not been able to identify the man killed in the accident owing to severe facial disfigurement.

He said: ‘We are trying to identify the person but his faced was smashed, so we are collecting his DNA and sending it [to a laboratory] to see if we can find a match.

The victim was said to have been dragged 40 meters and has not been identified by Thai authorities
Paul John Mercer allegedly hit the unidentified rubbish collector with his Mercedes as he was pushing his cart in Phuket on Wednesday morning

This process takes between one and two weeks.’

Rubbish scavengers typically lead wretched lives, marginalised from society and sorting through detritus daily, which they then sell to the government for a pittance.

Captain Sensop added: ‘We have not been contacted by a family member or a relative to claim the body.’

If no relative comes forward to claim relationship with the victim, Mr Mercer could get away with not having to pay any compensation, added Captain Sensop.

Mr Mercer went into business with former Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy, to buy the 48-acre stretch of land on Mai Khao Beach, Phuket, with 426 properties on a 500-private beach, now known as West Sands.

Thailand has strict laws on drunk driving, with the legal alcohol limit for drivers set at 50 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood in the body – which equates to roughly one or two drinks before driving.

If Mr Mercer is found to have been driving over the limit causing death he could be sentenced to between three and ten years in prison and fined between £1,385 and £4,617.

Thailand’s military government has taken a hard-line in recent months on foreigners breaking the law and overstaying their visa.

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