A 91-year-old pensioner was killed by a falling tree branch – after jumping in front of it to save his 49-year-old Thai girlfriend.
Holidaymaker Giacomo Smedile was walking along the sea front when a thick 10ft long branch snapped down from a tree in Pattaya, Thailand.
The frail pensioner pushed his girlfriend – 41 years his junior – out of the but was struck on the head and killed instantly.
Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene and found his body in a pool of blood. He was pronounced dead and taken to a nearby hospital.
His horrified girlfriend – who did not want to be named – told police they had left their rented apartment for an evening walk when they heard the sound of falling branches.
She said: ”We were almost home when it happened. I turned around and he was lying dead on the floor.
”He was fit and healthy. He was still very active. I am shocked.”
A spokesman from the Sawang Boriboon Thammasatarn charity foundation said the tourist had been hit on the head and suffered severe bleeding.
They added: ”His female friend said that he had pushed her out of the way of the falling branches.
”He was struck on the head and pronounced dead at the scene.”
Apichai Klobpetch, chief of Pattaya Police Station, said that workers who trim tree branches along the popular sea front ”may have missed” the one that killed Giacomo.
He added: ”The branch was already dead, and it was windy, so it fell down. They look out for these branches. They might have not seen this one, or they might have overlooked it.”
Police said the death was an accident but would offer compensation to Giacomo’s family and had informed the Italian embassy.