Gary McLaren MotoGP Thailand fireworks New Year’s Day death. British man killed trying to light fireworks on stroke of midnight after recently proposing to fiancee.
A British MotoGP worker is reported to have died at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day after a tube of fireworks exploded in his face while trying to light them. The man sustained the fatal injuries while celebrating New Year with his fiancee.
Gary McLaren, 50, of Corby, Northamptonshire, had been partying with his Thai fiancee, Jasmine at the Miami Go Go bar in Pattaya, eastern Thailand, on December 31 when the incident happened, according to the Daily Mail.
As the stroke of midnight neared, McLaren a local reportedly stepped outside the bar to light a 50 cm cardboard tube packed with fireworks. His first attempt to light the fireworks failed, and unfortunately, his second succeeded.
Smoke started billowing out of the tube and the fireworks exploded in his face as midnight struck, much to the horror of Jasmine. Police and medics responded to the scene and performed chest compressions on McLaren. However, he could not be saved and was declared dead at the scene.
Bar worker Wassana Ngontai, who witnessed the death, said: ‘I saw the man try to set off the firework. He tried to do it two times.
‘The man didn’t move, then there was a big explosion in his face and he fell back.’
The BangkokPost claims the firework was believed to have been ‘faulty’.
British man had recently proposed to his Thai fiancee.
Video captured at the scene showed the McLaren’s fiancee weeping and hugging the lifeless shroud-covered body (see images below).
The fiancee later confirmed McLaren’s death on Facebook, writing, ‘This is [our] last picture honey, you will be in my heart forever babe. RIP Gary McLaren.’
One of the friends of the deceased also paid tribute, posting, ‘RIP my brother Gary McLaren. You were like a brother to me & I’ll always be forever grateful plus in your debt for everything you’ve done for me and my son Corey Parsons. Rest in total peace my bro but you’ve been taken from us way way too early. Love ya buddy.’
Mike Cooperman, an American-born bar owner in Pattaya, uploaded a picture of McLaren where Jasmine could be seen proposing to him inside a snooker bar.
‘I will always remember how happy you were that night. RIP Gary, a good friend, and brother,’ he posted. ‘Jasmine please accept our deepest condolences. If you need anything please let us know.’
A death that could have been avoided:
McLaren had studied at Tresham College, near Kettering, before moving to Thailand, though still visited relatives in the UK – as recently as December this year.
Police captain Nakhonrat Nontseelard said the British embassy in Bangkok had been informed of McLaren’s death. His body has been taken to a hospital for postmortem.
Unclear was to what degree tourists were warned against attempting to light fireworks during New Year’s Day revelries.
By law, people need a license to set off fireworks in Pattaya, but this is not widely kept to, with street vendors selling them across the city.
Pattaya, around 100 miles from Bangkok – in which the tragedy took place is best known for its strip clubs and brothels, and had been packed with revelers celebrating the New Year.