Tragic Claire killed in holiday crash

RELATIVES of a Suffolk charity worker killed in a hit and run accident while on holiday in Thailand have today paid tribute to a “beautiful and intelligent woman” and a “fantastic mother.

RELATIVES of a Suffolk charity worker killed in a hit and run accident while on holiday in Thailand have today paid tribute to a “beautiful and intelligent woman” and a “fantastic mother.”

And in a tragic twist it emerged today that her partner had also been killed in the same accident.

Mum-of-one Claire Cox, 42, and her South African partner Hugo, 32, were killed instantly during a break on the Island of Koh Samui when a pick-up truck on the wrong side of the road ploughed into the couple who were riding a hired moped.

Claire, who lived in from Bramford Road, Ipswich, with 17-year-old son Adam, worked as a finance administrator for Mencap Ipswich and was involved in the Genesis Project, which aims to improve the lives of disabled people in Suffolk.

Speaking a week after Claire's funeral, her 39-year-old sister Joanne Brown, who lives in Buckinghamshire, said the whole ordeal had been “totally traumatic” for the family.

“She was a beautiful, intelligent and sensible woman on her first long-haul adventure.

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“She was in a new relationship with Hugo and they were getting on brilliantly.

“Claire was the most fantastic mother and she lived for Adam. She was a credit to him and he is a credit to her.

“She was hugely respected at work and loved by everyone - a strong woman with good morals and attributes.”

Thai police are still investigating the accident, which happened on April 29, and are looking to question a truck driver.

Shortly before Claire's death, Thai English-language newspaper The Nation reported that 81 people had been killed in hit-and-run incidents in and around the capital Bangkok during January, February and March.

Mrs Brown said: “I have lost my sister and there is nothing I can do about it. I can't bring her back but if I can stop just one more needless death then I will have done something.

“I'm angry at a lot of things but if her death can stop someone else getting on the back of a bike in Thailand it would help our family get through all the madness we're going through.

“The Thai police are investigating and we have had almost weekly contact with the foreign office but trying to find information is like walking through glue. We may have to wait three or four months for a report on the accident.

“All we were told within the first 48 hours of her death was that she was killed on the back of a bike and we still don't know much more than that.

“We are obviously grieving as a family but we also want to know that a proper investigation is being carried out.”

Advice from the Foreign Office when travelling to Thailand:

An international or Thai driving licence is required to drive in Thailand.

Riding a motorcycle or scooter in Thailand can be dangerous. On average 38 people a day die in motorcycle accidents in Thailand. You should take the same safety precautions as in the UK. The Thai law that safety helmets must be worn is widely ignored: a contributing factor in many tourist deaths each year.

The motorcycles or scooters available for hire in beach resorts are often unregistered and cannot, consequently, be used legally on a public road.

Before you hire a vehicle you should check your travel insurance policy carefully to ensure that you are covered and check the small print of the lease agreement carefully.

You should never hand over your passport as a guarantee against returning a motor scooter or cycle. Unscrupulous owners have been known to hold on to passports against claimed damage to the motor scooter or cycle.

Riding quad-bikes can also be dangerous. You should also note that it is illegal to ride these on the roads in Thailand despite the fact that they are available to hire on the roadside.