Tuesday 27 September 2016

Goldman Sachs worker dies after being thrown from a tuk-tuk while on first day of holiday in Thailand with her fiance

Published 19/08/2016 | 09:54

Niamh Corrigan and her fiance Paul Fortuna had arrived in Phuket, Thailand that day Credit: Facebook
Niamh Corrigan and her fiance Paul Fortuna had arrived in Phuket, Thailand that day Credit: Facebook

A woman died from head injuries having been thrown from a tuk tuk on the first night of her holiday in Thailand, an inquest was told.

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Niamh Corrigan, 29, of Bromley, south London, was flung from the back of a motorised rickshaw after a night out with her Scottish fiance Paul Fortuna.

While changing seats with her partner, the vehicle turned sharply on a bumpy mountain road.

Mr Fortuna tried unsuccessfully to grab her, and then battled to resuscitate Miss Corrigan at the roadside as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

The tuk tuk had been travelling no more than 25 mph at the time of the incident, Southwark Coroner's Court heard.

Miss Corrigan - a personal assistant at City investment bank Goldman Sachs - had arrived in Phuket for a friend's Christmas wedding earlier that day, and planned to relax and explore the country.

Following a meal and drinks with the wedding party, they boarded the rickshaw for the 12.4 mile journey back to their hotel at around 2.30am.

The couple - who were planning to marry next year - sat opposite each other but, as Miss Corrigan began to suffer from with motion sickness, she moved to sit next to her fiance.

In a witness statement read out in court, Mr Fortuna said: "We promised each other we would get a tuk-tuk because it would be fun."

But he said after a while they reached mountain roads, with steep inclines and sharp turns, and they were violently jolted from side to side in the back of the vehicle.

"Near the end of the journey she felt motion sickness and she wanted to sit next to me," he added. "When she moved to sit beside me and she stood up. At that point the tuk-tuk ascended a steep hill and lunged suddenly as it manoeuvred a sharp turn."

As the vehicle turned, Miss Corrigan was thrown out of the back, an inquest heard.

Coroner Dr Julian Morris said: "[Mr Fortuna's] instinct was to reach out and grab her, but sadly his reaction time was too slow and Niamh landed in the road."

The court heard that Mr Fortuna shouted at the driver to stop the rickshaw and ran towards his partner lying in the road.

He said: "She must have landed on her head because there was no response. Blood from under her head was visible."

The driver called an ambulance while Mr Fortuna tried to resuscitate her with the help of an American medic who was passing on the road.

Mr Fortuna said he "was screaming to bring her back from her state of unconsciousness."

He added: "The frustration and anguish was unbearable waiting for the ambulance."

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