May 7, 2017

Chales Winkler

A Swiss expatriate living in Chiang Mai for over 30 years was found dead next to his scooter in a dried up canal in San Kamphaeng district.

Chiang Mai News reported that a villager had informed Pol Capt Chaiwad Chueamueangpan at San Kamphaeng Provincial Police Station at 00:10 early Sunday morning. Investigator Pol Capt Chaiwad, an emergency physician and local rescue volunteers made their way to Mu 10 in Rong Wua Daeng subdistrict where the accident had taken place.

It did not take long until they found the body of Chales Winkler, a 68-year-old Swiss national registered at 6 Mu 6 in On Tai subdistrict. “He was laying at the bottom of a dried up canal buried under his red Honda Wave 125,” Pol Capt Chaiwad described the scene. “He was already dead when we arrived at the scene.”

The investigation into the apparent road accident revealed that Mr Winkler had been on his way home after buying liquor from a nearby shop. Residents who had witnessed the accident told police that he was driving his scooter – license plate จนข 55 Chiang Mai – at high speed and overtook many cars before going off the road and crashing into the canal. He sustained fractures to his skull and ribs and died before rescuers arrived, police said.

Donal Erdphol, a friend of Mr Winkler’s, contacted Chiang Mai Citylife after their publication about the accident to “give a background to Chales [and] not wanting his life to be condensed into this one final tragedy.”

According to his statement which was published under the article, Mr Erdphol questioned police’s report that Mr Winkler overtook several cars: “(…) he crashed only several hundred metres from where he had been drinking so was unlikely that he was overtaking other cars,” Mr Erdphol told Chiang Mai Citylife.

“He added that he has knew the deceased for years and that Chales had lived in San Kampaeng for the last 30 years. He could speak Northern Thai and was well known by the locals in his area who are also saddened by his death.”

Police asked Mr Winkler’s relatives and learned that he drank regularly. “He had already been involved in two alcohol-related traffic accidents in the area and both times recovered fully,” Pol Capt Chaiwad said. However, the investigator said, in his third crash, he was less lucky.

Case Details

Source Chiang Mai News
Date of Death: May 7, 2017
Last Edited: 1 month ago
Age: 68 years
Gender: Male
Nationality: Swiss
Cause of Death: Road accident
Province: Chiang Mai
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