NAKHON RATCHASIMA — A Chilean cross-continental cyclist who planned to complete a world record this year was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck on Mittraphap Road on Saturday afternoon. His Singaporean wife and two-year-old son sustained minor injuries.
Francisco and his family made a rest stop at a police checkpoint in Khon Kaen's Phon district on Saturday morning before heading to Nakhon Ratchasima with the bicycle pulling a carriage. Before they left the checkpoint, Francisco told a policeman that he would later travel to Australia.
The accident happened when the speeding pickup truck driven by Tiwarat Ratchaipidet, aged 64, scraped the bicycle on the roadside. The cyclist's body was thrown from the bicycle. He died on the spot and his body was sent to Bua Yai Hospital for autopsy.
The bicycle was totally destroyed and the pickup truck crashed into a ditch and overturned.
Tiwarat, who escaped unscathed, told police that he was driving from Khon Kaen to Nakhon Ratchasima, and said he did not see the bicycle prior to the crash. Police charged him with careless driving resulting in death and injuries.
According to a sign on the irreparable bicycle, Francisco planned to set a Guinness World Record by cycling 250,000 kilometres around the world in five years. The unsponsored 'around the world' trip started in November 2010 and the Chilean had cycled about 140,000 kilometres. The sign also said that the Chilean met his wife and had a baby along the way.