London

Private probe into Thailand backpacker deaths bus crash

Maximilian Boomgaarden-Cook
Image caption Mr Boomgaarden-Cook had only been in the country four days

The family of a London teenager killed in a bus crash in Thailand is sending private investigators to the country to ascertain exactly what happened.

Maximilian Boomgaarden-Cook, 19, was among three students killed travelling to the city of Chiang Mai in June.

His family say they have had little information from the authorities about the crash.

They hope the probe will shed light on the incident and prompt the Thai government into addressing road safety.

The students were just four days into their planned nine week trip when the tragedy occurred.

Mr Boomgaarden-Cook's mother, Polly Cook, told BBC London: "They left on the Thursday evening.

Danger warnings

"Very early on the Tuesday morning there was a knock on the door and the police.

"I realised immediately that something must have happened to Max."

But Mrs Cook said she knew very little about what had happened.

She continued: "I think it's really important to have as much information as possible.

"If you're not given information it leaves scope for your imagination to run to places that it should never go."

The family want travel guide books to do more to warn travellers about the possible dangers of travelling in Thailand.

Mrs Cook explained: "It's not just about our backpackers - it's about the fact that Thai people have to put up with this as well.

"They deserve to have a better system."

Mr Boomgaarden-Cook was a volunteer for a leukaemia charity, and was due to study history and politics at university.

His mother said: "He was the life and soul. He was a real people person.

"Ever since he was a baby he had his arms around his friends."

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