Chilean cyclist's record quest ends in death in Thailand

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2015 12:21 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — A Chilean cyclist's quest to bike around the world in five years has ended with his death in a road accident in northeast Thailand, police said Sunday.

Juan Francisco Guillermo, 47, was hit by a pickup truck and immediately killed Saturday on a highway in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

According to police and accounts on social media, Guillermo was attempting to set a Guinness World Record by cycling 250,000 kilometers (155,350 miles) on five continents in five years. His journey started in November 2010 and was scheduled to end in November this year.

Guillermo's wife from Hong Kong, who was on another bicycle with their 2-year-old son, suffered a slight sprain in the accident, said police Col. Torsak Thammingmongkol. It was not clear how long they had accompanied Guillermo in his round-the-world cycling odyssey.

The driver of the pickup truck was arrested on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and released on bail, said Torsak. The offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

"It was an accident caused by the driver's recklessness. The road was straight and the cyclist was in his own lane," the officer said.

The death comes as Thailand's government is trying hard to promote bicycling for commuting, sport and tourism.

In February 2013, a British couple on a similar round-the-world quest was killed in a road accident in eastern Thailand.