Destinations

Aussie woman dies in Bali motorbike accident

Hannah Edensor

In sad news today, an Aussie traveller has passed away after losing control of her scooter in Bali.

The notorious Balinese scooter, which has seen many travellers involved in accidents, has claimed the life of Sydney woman Ella Knights.

The 26-year-old woman, who had been travelling in India and Bali per Fairfax reports, appears to have lost control of her scooter at around 3:00am on Thursday morning in the beachside region of Canggu.

Authorities said her body was found in a roadside ditch, and that by the time she was taken to Canggu Medical Clinic, doctors pronounced her dead on arrival.

Per Fairfax, local traffic accident unit chief Made Sujana said the accident appeared to have occurred “because of the speed of the scooter” around a corner.

“Because of the speed of the scooter she lost control and was dragged to the right and fell to the gutter,” he said, per Fairfax.

Sujana said the scooter was heading west, right before a corner heading north.

Authorities also believe Knights’ helmet might not have been properly fastened at the time of the accident, although she allegedly had suffered chest injuries, but no apparent head injuries. Some reports claim she wasn’t wearing a helmet when her body was found.

Medical authorities are yet to determine the exact cause of death, but no other vehicles appear to be involved, per reports, nor any witnesses present.

Knights was due to return to Australia today.

She had been posting photographs to her Instagram of pool swimming, reading, yoga and healthy eating, and sadly about a week ago, a video of her and a friend laughing and riding a motorbike, sans helmet.

On the Daily Telegraph, columnist Claire Harvey called young Aussie travellers “morons” in the wake of the incident, admitting she too had done similar stupid things when she was a young traveller, including riding motorbikes without a helmet.

“Indonesia is probably the worst place on earth for the Australian to morph into a travelling moron — but that’s where we all go to do it,” Harvey wrote.

“I did a 600km motorbike ride in India once with a friend, from Mumbai to Goa… and I didn’t do up the chinstrap. I was too cool for chinstraps.

“The young woman who died in Bali this week was also too cool for helmets. Police initially indicated Ella Knights was not wearing a helmet when her lifeless body was found in a gutter in Canggu, Bali.

“Now they’re saying she may have been wearing a helmet with the chinstrap undone. We probably won’t ever know for certain which it was.”

On its Smartraveller website, the Government says to “consider carefully the risks involved in using motorcycles”.

“A number of foreigners, including Australians, have been killed or seriously injured in motorcycle accidents in tourist areas, particularly in Bali,” it reads.

“If you hire a motorcycle you should seek advice on any restrictions that may apply (such as insurance cover if you are not licensed to ride a motorcycle in Australia). You should check with your travel insurer whether these activities are covered by your policy.

“Motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear a correctly fastened and approved helmet. Fines may be imposed for non-compliance. In the event of an accident, foreigners may be assumed to be at fault and expected to make financial restitution to all other parties.”

It’s a sad reminder for all travellers to Bali – of which there’s plenty of Aussies – to take proper safety precautions, especially on scooters and motorbikes, to avoid tragic, yet avoidable, accidents.

Image: Ella Knight Instagram


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