Patrice Dougan

Patrice Dougan is a NZME. News Service reporter based in Auckland.

Mystery of Kiwi's death

Tourist's body lay undiscovered for 24 hours after apparent crash on scooter.

Peter Toon.
Peter Toon.

Mystery surrounds the death of a New Zealander killed in a motorcycle crash while holidaying in Cambodia.

The body of Peter Andrew James Toon, 36, lay unnoticed in a forest for 24 hours after he reportedly crashed into a pole on February 2.

His body was discovered the next day by some children who were fruit-picking in the forest, Cambodian media reported.

Local police told reporters Toon had been riding a scooter from Srai Ambel to Koh Kong town, in Koh Kong Province, when he hit a traffic pole barrier, launching both the scooter and rider into the air.

But there was no explanation how his body had come to be untended to for so long.

Toon had been on holiday with his English girlfriend, Francesca Gosden.

Toon grew up on the Hauraki Plains but was living in London and working as a recruitment officer at Care Quality Commission before his death.

Friends posted that they were looking forward to seeing Toon back in New Zealand this year.

The youngest of three children, he was described as a "dearly loved" son, and a "fun uncle" in a death notice published by the family yesterday. His Levin-based family declined to talk to the Herald on Sunday, saying it had been a traumatic experience for them.

Tributes were paid for the popular Kiwi, who was described as "a witty, generous guy".

James Joel Bunt said on Facebook, "The world is a worse place for your passing".

Childhood friend, Kyle Carter, said he had not wanted to believe it was true when he first heard the news. "I didn't post anything to Facebook so I could wait for him to pop up saying he was fine," he said in a Facebook post.

"For those of my other friends that knew Peter Toon, his years of being that guy who seems to taunt trouble, tease it and always end up with great stories to share finally met his match.

"Was definitely a life lived, I hadn't caught up for many years so missed the later stories but if his teens were anything to go by it was a good ride."

He said he was "lucky for having known someone like Peter".

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Stephen Parker said assistance had been provided to the family from the Bangkok office.

Toon is survived by his parents Bill and Ailsa, brother David, sisters Jacqueline and Suzanne, and five nieces and nephews.

A service will be held for him in Ohaupo, Hamilton, tomorrow, followed by a private cremation.

- APNZ

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