PHUKET – A Canadian man’s family is selling off all his belongings in an effort to raise money to bring him home from Thailand.
Jason Hoffman arrived in Phuket, Thailand last Thursday for a vacation, hours after arriving Jason was involved in a scooter crash that left one person dead and two others injured.
Jason’s brother, Clinton Hoffman, told reporters that few details are known about the crash, but the family has heard that Jason’s scooter collided with a scooter carrying three people.
One person died and the other two were injured. Jason broke several bones, and needed surgery for his injuries, Clinton said.
Jason was treated in a local hospital and released two days after being admitted. Though he still needs surgery for his facial injuries, Jason has been staying at a hostel while he recovers.
He is barely able to move because of his injuries, his brother said.
In the days after the crash, Jason was told by police that he was responsible and was told he needed to pay a settlement to the victims, and cover legal fees and a fine for the collision.
In total, Jason was told he must pay a ransom of $100,000 and if he is unable to pay the fees, he could face imprisonment, Clinton said.
Police Said it’s also not unusual for Phuket families seeking compensation to pitch a high figure so that it can be negotiated down – but that would require someone on Phuket to be acting in the best interests of Jason and his family
The family has been working with representatives of the Canadian embassy, contacted through the Department of Foreign Affairs.
They struggled to talk to someone on the phone, Clinton said. Most of the communication has been done by email.
“It’s very difficult. I have so many questions that can’t be answered,” Clinton said Friday.
He said that Jason’s Thai lawyer advised the family to pay the money, rather than try to fight the charges, but coming up with $100,000 has been a challenge.
In an effort to raise the money, Clinton said his family has been selling Jason’s belongings. They’re trying to sell his truck and motorcycle. Clinton said he’s trying to sell some of his own possessions as well.
The family has also built a crowdfunding page on YouCaring.com, hoping friends and family members will donate.
“This is a terrible tragedy and while we do not feel it is right to put a price on such an awful thing or a life, we are banding together as a family to help raise the money,” the post says.
“Jason is our brother, son and boyfriend. He is missed by many and we just want him home as soon as we can so he can start his recovery safely in Canada.”
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that consular services are being provided for the citizen.
“Consular officials are in contact with family to provide assistance,” spokesperson Amy Mills said in an email.
“To protect the privacy of the individual concerned, further details on this case cannot be released.”