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RTW cyclist killed in front of family as he neared end of five-year record breaking journey

Juan Francisco Guillermo hit by truck in Thailand, second most dangerous country for road users

A cyclist who was attempting to set a record on his round the world trip was killed on a Thai road this week, in front of his wife and two year old son.

Juan Francisco Guillermo, 47, had embarked on a five year, 155,000 mile journey in November 2010 and was just nine months away from finishing when he was hit by a pickup truck and killed instantly.

Guillermo, a Chilean. was attempting to set a Guinness world record by finishing the journey within five years, taking in five continents.

His wife, who was cycling separately with his son, suffered a sprain in the collision, according to police Col Torsak Thammingmongkol.

The driver of the pickup truck was arrested on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and released on bail.  He could receive a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The officer said: “It was an accident caused by the driver’s recklessness. The road was straight and the cyclist was in his own lane.”

According to a recent study from the University of Michigan, Thailand has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the world, with 44 deaths per 100,000 population.

The only country with roads deadlier than Thailand’s was Namibia, which had 45 deaths. Iran was ranked just behind Thailand with 38 deaths, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

In 2013, a British couple who were also attempting a round-the-world cycling trip were both killed in a road collision. 

Peter Root and Mary Thompson were hit by a truck in a province east of Bangkok.

Thai police said that investigators found their bodies, their bicycles and their belongings scattered along a roadside, along with a pickup truck that crashed between some trees.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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