Belgian man dies from injuries sustained in brutal and unprovoked attack in Hua Hin

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A Belgian man who was gravely injured in a brutal attack in Hua Hin in April has died from his injuries, it has been announced.

Hua Hin Today first reported on the incident, which saw then 63-year-old Jan Valkenborg from Riemst, Limburg province, attacked in an unprovoked assault.

Valkenborg was in Hua Hin when he was assaulted by a German national. The attacker, who had a criminal record and was a member of a fight club, also assaulted another person that same evening.

Hua Hin Today understands that Hua Hin Police did launch an initial investigation into the incident. However, the whereabouts and legal status of the attacker is not known.

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The attack occurred while Valkenborg was smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk. According to eyewitness accounts, the attacker suddenly turned back, approached Valkenborg from behind, and beat him severely. Surveillance footage showed the assailant continuing to stomp on Valkenborg’s head even after he was on the ground. The German national later attacked an Englishman without any apparent motive.

Valkenborg sustained life-threatening injuries, including a shattered eye socket and a skull fractured in ten places. He was initially treated at a hospital in Hua Hin, where doctors performed a 13-hour surgery to reconstruct his face with multiple metal plates. His condition required further treatment, and he was transferred to a hospital in Bangkok for additional surgeries.

After nearly a month in a coma, Valkenborg was repatriated to Belgium via an ambulance flight and admitted to Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven. Despite undergoing another major operation on his birthday, May 17, he suffered several epileptic seizures, and his condition continued to deteriorate. He remained in a coma until his death on Monday (June 17).

Danny Lemmens, Valkenborg’s best friend, stayed by his side during his final hours. Lemmens expressed his grief to Belgian news outlet Nieuwsblad, saying, “Jan didn’t deserve this. He was a guy with a heart of gold who everyone could rely on. I stayed by his side continuously for the last 48 hours until the very end. I couldn’t let him die alone.”

Jan Valkenborg is survived by his 14-year-old son, mother, and sister. A private farewell ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 22. Friends and family can pay their last respects at Funerarium Theunissen in Zichen-Zussen-Bolder on Friday, June 21, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

The Belgian embassy in Bangkok has been providing consular assistance to Valkenborg’s family, and the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs is closely monitoring the case.

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