Female backpacker breaks her back after falling 130ft down a cliff while fleeing sex attacker in Thailand

Hannah Gavios, 23 (SWNS)
Hannah Gavios, 23 (SWNS)

A lone female backpacker has described the horrific moment she broke her back in a 150ft fall down a cliff while fleeing a sex attacker in Thailand.

Hannah Gavios, 23, got lost on pitch-black Railay Beach in the resort of Krabi and went into a local tourist shop asking for help back to her hotel.

A local worker offered to show her the way but instead led her into the jungle where they started climbing a mountain.

Hannah, who was still tired after arriving in Thailand just the day before, innocently followed him before realising she was in danger.

The man pinned her down and tried to rip off her clothes – but Hannah bravely fought back and bit off part of his EAR.

She then fled but blindly ran off the edge of a cliff edge in the darkness.

Hannah – who has bravely waived her anonymity – fractured her spine and smashed her head on the way down before she landed crippled at the bottom of the cliff.

A female tourist has relived the horrific moment she broke her back from falling 45 metres down a cliff after fleeing an attempted rape. See SWNS story SWCLIFF. Hannah Gavios, 23, asked a local tourist shop for help after she became stranded on a beach in Krabi, Thailand, last Thursday at 11pm. Thai local Apai Ruengvorn, 28, offered to walk Hannah to her nearby hotel but took a terrifying detour through pitch black jungle and led to the top of a mountain. The hired help worked pinned Hannah - who has agreed to be named - down and began ripping off her clothes but she repeatedly punched him and bit off his EAR.

To her terror her attacker – a Thai local named as Apai Ruengvorn, 28 – scrambled after her and sexually molested her as she lay helpless.

After a couple of hours Ruengvorn left but then returned later with other people who raised the alarm and Hannah was rescued and taken to hospital.

She is now being treated at Bangkok Hospital in Phuket and Hannah’s parents have flown from their New York home to be at her bedside.

Ruengvorn has admitted the sickening attack last Thursday evening and is now facing several years behind bars.

Hannah, who was taking a break from teaching in Vietnam, said: ”I really thought I was going to die.

“It was dark around 11pm and the only way to get back to my accommodation was by crossing the cliffs.

“I went inside a tourist shop and asked for help back to my hotel. They said it was dangerous to do at night so they told me to follow one of their workers.

”I didn’t get the best feeling about him but I was tired and wanted to get home. I’d been travelling for 16 hours so I guess I wasn’t feeling myself.

”I followed him up this trail and I was asking him ‘is this the right way’. We were going up this steep mountain and using a flash light and I started panicking.


”While he were walking he grabbed me and was holding me down and trying to take off my clothes.

”I started punching him in the face and beating him up and biting off his ear. I was biting his ear so hard it almost came off. His ear was half torn off.

”He was in pain and asked me to stop, so we shook hands and he stopped but I was still nervous and he was still trying to harass me so there was no choice but to run.

”I started walking back to where I came from. Once there was distance between us I started running.

“It was pitch black and before I knew it I was in mid air falling off a cliff. I was honestly thinking I wouldn’t survive.

”I hit my head a few times and landed with a big bump. I was screaming in pain. It was the most painful thing ever.

”I felt like a total vegetable. I felt completely vulnerable. I couldn’t move anything.”


She added: ”He heard me screaming and moaning and he came down and climbed down the mountain and starting crying and praying.

“He was feeling very guilty. I was begging him to call for help. He got on the phone and started calling and i thought somebody was coming but nobody came.

”I was stuck with this crazy person. I was in the woods in the bushes with wild snakes crawling on me while he was still continuing to harass me.

“He got on top of me. He took of his pants and masturbated on me.

”He didn’t rape me but he did everything else. I really thought I was going to die.

”I honestly didn’t know what to do. I just had to remain calm. whenever I screamed he was choking me so I had to try to keep cool and stay friendly with him.

”As soon as it got lighter I started calling for help. He kept saying ‘no police no police’.

”Eventually he left in the early hours of the morning and then I started screaming and then heard a voice. It was him with his co-workers and an ambulance came.”


Hannah added: ”My parents flew here from New York and now I’m much better.

”I’m taking one day at a time. But I’m really glad my legs aren’t broken. I want to stay in Asia and return to teaching in Vietnam.

”The police have told me that the man will stay in prison for between five and ten years.”

Pictures in local media show Ruengvorn staging a crime re-enactment pointing to the spot where Hannah fell.

He was been charged with been charged with committing obscene behavior toward another person and causing serious injury.

Lt Songpol Bunchai confirmed Hannah’s story and added: ”The suspect admitted that he became aroused and tried to molest the woman.

“She was frightened and ran away to escape him. She fell down the cliffs.”


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