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Grim Reminder of the Need to Drive with Care in Bali

20-Year-Old Mitch Gillam of Western Australia Dies in Bali Motorcycle Mishap.


Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Mitchell Blair Gillam, Juel Palbort, Umalas
Click Image to Enlarge

(12/13/2010)

A 20-year-old Western Australian electrician's apprentice night of holiday revelry ended tragically when he died in a motorcycle mishap in the Kerobokan area of Bali.

The man, Mitchell Blair Gillam, was driving a motorcycle in tandem with a friend, Juel Palbort, after, according to police, the two had been drinking beer and vodka at local bars. Riding in the rain in the early hour of Wednesday, December 8, 2010, Gillam is thought to have skidded out-of-control and crashed. When local residents stumbled onto the scene they found Palbort unconscious and rushed the man to a local hospital. Dark and in the rain, residents were unaware that Gillam was also involved and had tumbled out of sight into the nearby Umalas River.

Only after Palbort regained consciousness was he able to raise and alarm for his missing friend, Gillam. Based on Palbort's report and a physical description of Gillam, police were eventually able able to connect the mysterious discovery on Thursday of the decomposing body of a tourist found in the Umalas area Kerobokan with the traffic accident and the missing man.

Police and forensic officers then made a prelimiary identification of the man via a distinctive body tattoo on the man's buttock.

Police say neither men were believed to have been wearing protective gear at the time of the incident and a medical examination of Gillam's body suggest that although he suffered extensive broke bones and contusions in the fall, death was most likely due to drowning in the river. Police forensic scientists are still determining what role, if any, alcohol consumption may have played in the fatal crash.

According to Australian press reports, Gillam was a popular Western Australian footballer who was training as an electrician's apprentice in the Western Australian mining industry.


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