A Swiss expatriate, who had been 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 on Sunday morning that a body had been found. Investigator Pol Capt Chaiwad, an emergency physician and local rescue volunteers made their way to Mu 10 in Rong Wua Daeng subdistrict to investigate.
It did not take long to find the body of Charles Winkler, a 68-year-old Swiss national registered at 6 Mu 6 in On Tai subdistrict. “He was lying, crumpled up at the bottom of a dried up canal beneath his red Honda Wave 125,” said Pol Capt Chaiwad describing the scene he came upon. “He was already dead when we arrived.”
Apparently, Mr Winkler had been on his way home after buying liquor from a nearby shop. Residents who witnessed the accident told police that he had been driving his scooter (license plate จนข 55 Chiang Mai) at high speed, overtooking numerous cars before careering off the road and ending up in the waterless canal. Police confirmed he sustained fractures to his skull and ribs and died before rescuers arrived.
Donald Erdphol, a friend of Mr Winkler’s, contacted Chiang Mai Citylife after their publication about the accident to “give a background to Charles” and because he did not want his friend’s life to be “condensed into this one final tragedy”.
In Chiang Mai Citylife, Mr Erdphol questions witness reports that Mr Winkler “overtook several cars”, commenting that the crash occurred only several hundred metres from where his friend had been drinking so overtaking was “unlikely”.
He added that Charles had lived in San Kampaeng for the last 30 years and was well known by the locals in his area.
Police have questioned Mr Winkler’s relatives and learned that he drank heavily. “He had already been involved in two alcohol-related traffic accidents in the area and despite injury, recovered fully,” said Pol Capt Chaiwad, adding, “Clearly, he was less lucky in this third accident.”
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