Campbell River family raising money to get son home after scooter crash in Thailand

Just four hours after Jason Hoffman arrived in Phuket, Thailand in mid-April, he was involved in a serious scooter accident.

The Campbell River native, who now lives in Calgary, broke his leg and smashed his head in the crash. He later learned one of the three Thai nationals on the other scooter died, with the other two being sent to hospital.

Many of the details of the accident are still unknown to Hoffman and his family, according to older brother Clinton Hoffman. Jason only remembers getting on a scooter, getting into a collision and waking up in hospital, Clinton tells Global News.

Jason spent a few days convalescing in the hospital, where doctors operated on his leg, inserting a steel rod to stabilize his fractured femur. Then, Thai police showed up and transported him to prison.

“I was very concerned, obviously, for his health and safety,” says Clinton. The family contacted The Department of Foreign Affairs, asking them to get involved in the case. Eventually, Jason was released from prison after his friend posted bail, and he is now recovering from his injuries at a hostel.

Story continues below advertisement

Jason was told he must pay $100,000 in compensation for the accident, says Clinton, or else he could face prison and not be allowed to leave the country. The demand was made just days after the accident, before a complete investigation had occurred, he says.

“The facts and figures were thrown together it seemed,” says Jason, who notes the family is not sure if the money is going directly to the victims, or to compensate police and pay for medical treatments. Jason didn’t have emergency medical insurance.

“We really had no idea and no confidence to say what it was being used for.”

The family held a private fundraiser to get the money together, and Clinton is currently selling off some of his brother’s possessions and some of his own. “My  brother literally has nothing to his name,” says Clinton. The family has also set up a crowdfunding site and Jason says it’s important to them to properly compensate the victims.

“This is a terrible tragedy and while we do not feel it is right to put a price on such a awful thing or a life, we are banding together as a family to help raise the money,” it reads.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed to Global News that they are aware of a Canadian injured in Thailand and are in contact with the family, providing consular assistance.


Sponsored content