A Russian tourist in Bali’s cultural capital of Ubud has died after crashing a moped into a ravine. The 24-year-old woman had been a passenger on the moped while she and her companion were driving from central Ubud towards Parq Ubud, a newly opened social club, on Saturday, 14th January.
Her companion, also from Russia, had pulled over to the side of the road to read GoogleMaps. According to local reports, this is when the 24-year-old decided to try and take the moped for a spin despite not knowing how to drive.
The incident was confirmed to reporters by Police Chief Kompol Yudistira after the scene was cleared. The woman, known by her initials MK, was riding as a passenger on the Yamaha moped on Saturday morning. At around 11.15 am, her friend pulled over on the Junjungan Neighborhood Road to read Google Maps.
As her friend looked at his phone for directions, MK started up the moped unbeknownst to him and pulled the accelerator to nearly full throttle. It has been confirmed that MK did not have a motorcycle license, nor did she have experience driving a moped, hence why her friend was the driver for them both.
According to the police report and eyewitness accounts, MK and the moped lurched towards the edge of the ravine that drops down to the Tuyung River. Her friend screamed at her to stop or try and brake. However, it was too late. MK careered into the ravine, falling 30m down the slope. Police believe that she died on impact. Hearing the screams, several local residents rushed to the roadside to find MK lying at the bottom of the ravine and her friend, naturally, in a state of complete distress.
The local residents contacted the community pecalang, Ubud Police, and the Gianyar Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), who all attended the scene as soon as possible. Ubud Police Chief Kompol I Gusti Ngurah Yudistira told reporters that they were able to attend the scene and reach MK within a matter of minutes. Yudistira said, “At around 12.50 WITA, the victim [MK] was successfully evacuated but was already dead.”
He continued, “The victim died, and it is suspected that the victim was not capable of driving a motorbike. The body of the victim is still being kept while waiting for the Consulate and the victim’s family.”
The tragedy comes just days after a Ukrainian tourist died after driving off the Canggu Shortcut. The incident triggered an important conversation online between travelers, local people, and ex-pats. The consensus was clear that all drivers needed to practice better safety and caution on the road, wear helmets and never drink and drive.
Police confirmed the death of a 33-year-old Ukrainian man on the 10th of January. It is believed that he crashed his moped into the drainage canal that flows alongside the Canggu Shortcut in the very early hour. His body was discovered by local residents around 8 am, just as rush hour traffic was starting to mount up in the busy tourism hotspot.
Police and rescue authorities received backlash online for not closing the road while the scene was investigated and the victim’s body recovered. Within minutes of his body being discovered and police attending the scene, videos of the incident were circulating widely online, almost certainly before his family had been informed of his passing.
Police later confirmed that the man, known by his initials DR, had died as a result of his head injuries and stated that he was not wearing a helmet.
On Wednesday, 4th January, a local teenager was killed in a collision with a dutch tourist in northern Bali. The 16-year-old was killed on impact. The dutch tourist was taken to the hospital to receive treatment. Local police announced that they would be launching an investigation to establish who was at fault for the incident.
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