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On the 23rd of March 2013 Derek Gent and Mike Holmes, who had been friends for more than thirty years, were enjoying a dream vacation in Thailand with their wives Christine and Janet when a grey Toyota ploughed into them at high speed killing them both instantly.
An inquest at the Phoenix Centre in the UK heard that the car was attempting to overtake another car on a single lane road at high speed when it hit a vehicle and span out of control. The car hit both men who were walking on the pavement before smashing into a restaurant.
Their wives where at the hotel at the time of the accident.
The 33 year old driver of the vehicle was charged with negligence and given a two year suspended jail sentence with one years probation and a fifty thousand baht fine.
Coroner Simon Nelson said that there was a lack of details in the translated records sent by the Thai authorities and that it was unknown what speed the Toyota was doing, there was also no statement from the driver.
Mr Gent and Mr Holmes families believe that the driver was in a coma after the accident.
Mr Nelson said: “I appreciate that the quality of the information bears little similarity to that I would expect to receive in similar circumstances from Greater Manchester Police.”
He concluded that both men died whilst being pedestrians subject to a road traffic collision.
Mr Nelson added: “They were two fine gentlemen who were each endeavouring to get the most out of their retirement after working industriously for many years.
“What should’ve been the most enjoyable of times ended so tragically.”
Mr Gent a former chief Trading Standards officer at Oldham Council, from Croft Head Drive, Milnrow, Rochdale, leaves his widow Christine and their two daughters.
Mr Holmes a former industrial sales rep from Yeomans Close, Milnrow, leaves behind his widow Janet and their three children.