British backpacker’s horror as boyfriend dies after falling from moving train in Thailand

Shona Morgan’s partner, Ryan Joseph Ralph, is believed to have lost his footing while having a cigarette on the moving train

Jane Dalton
Friday 22 March 2024 16:00 GMT
The couple were on an overnight train when tragedy struck
The couple were on an overnight train when tragedy struck (ViralPress)

The boyfriend of a British backpacker died when he fell from a moving train as the couple travelled to “Death Island” in Thailand.

Shona Morgan, 22, from Northern Ireland, and her Canadian boyfriend Ryan Joseph Ralph, 24, were on board an overnight locomotive from Bangkok on Wednesday.

Ms Morgan had flown to Thailand to be with Mr Ralph, who had been travelling in the coutnry for just over a month, to celebrate his birthday.

Shona Morgan had flown to Thailand to be with Mr Ralph for his birthday (ViralPress)

But two hours into the train journey, he left her asleep to have a cigarette at the end of the carriage and fell to his death. Many Thai train carriages have no doors or barriers.

Ms Morgan said she raised the alarm when she woke up an hour later and he was missing.

Nearly 200 police officers and rescuers joined a search for Mr Ralph, from Ontario, Thai media reported.

Police believe he lost his footing while the train was still moving, before dragging himself underneath to escape the wheels – but that he later passed out and died from blood loss.

The couple, identified by local media, had been planning to celebrate Mr Ralph’s birthday at Koh Tao island, which has been dubbed “Death Island” following the 2014 murders of two British backpackers, Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

He was found dead yesterday, under a newly built platform at a station in the Ratchaburi province.

Rescuers joined the search (ViralPress)

Police Lieutenant Colonel Rathnont Kasemchaisit said he was found with severe injuries on both legs, adding: “He had in his pocket a wallet containing various documents and Thai banknotes.

“From the preliminary investigation, there were no traces of assault.”

A Cambodian rail worker said he was shocked when he found Mr Ralph dead. There have been a series of deaths on Thailand’s ageing trains which are often blamed for poor safety standards.

Ryan Ralph is thought to have fallen from the train (ViralPress)

In 2014, Matt Lawlor, 19, died when he fell from a train on the same route from Bangkok to the south of the country to visit the Koh Phangnan island.

In February 2017, British backpacker Daniel Clarke, 20, was left in intensive care after falling from a moving train on the same journey.

And in December 2022, Irishman Patrick Ward, 45, died after falling from a moving train in Kanchanaburi.

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