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Ex- Harper Collins Exec's 28-Year-Old Son and Friend Killed in Full Moon Party Motorcycle Crash in Thailand

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Apr. 26 2024, Published 7:45 p.m. ET

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In a tragic turn of events, Elias Giangrande, 28, son of former Harper Collins executive Gregory Giangrande, and his friend Jack Niehaus, 25, lost their lives in a horrific head-on crash while returning from the infamous Full Moon Party in Thailand, RadarOnline.com has learned.

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Elias and his mother, Sheila Hultgren Giangrande.

The incident occurred on Koh Pha Ngan island, where they were riding a motorcycle back to their hotel from the beach party.

The Koh Pha Ngan police reported receiving a call about the crash at 4:30 am local time, following the Full Moon Party that had taken place the previous Tuesday. Both Elias and Jack were riding the motorcycle, allegedly "drunk and speeding," without helmets, when they collided with a taxi on a dimly lit road, resulting in the fatal accident.

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Elias with his girlfriend, Brielle.

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Elias, a passionate scuba diver and the owner of a luxury yachting company in Miami, tragically lost his life alongside Jack, who was described by his sister Priya Niehaus as being on a trip around Asia with friends at the time of the accident.

Priya recounted that her brother ran out of petrol, prompting Elias to drive back and pick him up before the crash occurred.

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Elias and Jack died in a motorcycle accident in Thailand.

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"Think of all the best qualities of a human being, then add a cheeky joke and a never-ending smile," Priya said in a joint statement with Jack's parents, Troy and Nicole.

"He had an aspiring career in private wealth at UBS, but his passions were travel, racing, and he dreamt of having a family of his own," they continued, describing the late diver's character. "Jack had a positive impact on everyone he encountered, and we will miss that, along with his selflessness."

"He was a ray of sunshine no matter the circumstances, and most of all, he was inclusive, loving, and kind to all. He may have only had 25 years, but man were those years a true gift. A son, a brother, and most of all everyone's best friend."

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Both Elias and Jack were riding the motorcycle allegedly 'drunk and speeding' without helmets.

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The police investigation led by Colonel Panya Niratimanon revealed the devastating aftermath of the collision, with photographs displaying the wreckage of both vehicles and the bodies of the victims.

Lieutenant Suteep Chadakan mentioned ongoing investigations, including awaiting blood alcohol test results from the hospital, to determine the circumstances leading to the fatal crash.

As the bodies were taken to the Koh Pha Ngan Hospital for autopsies and preparations for repatriation to the U.S. were underway, authorities coordinated with the U.S. Embassy to support the families of the deceased during this challenging time.

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Elias was a proficient yachting and diving instructor, holding significant qualifications in the field. His vibrant presence was echoed through his social media, showcasing his adventures and relationship with his girlfriend, Brielle Middleton, who has not yet addressed the tragic loss.

Gregory, Elias's father, a notable figure in the publishing industry and currently serving as the Global Chief People and Communications Officer of Ellucian, rushed to Thailand upon hearing the devastating news.

With a successful career as a writer and frequent media appearances, Gregory is also renowned for his contributions to the New York Post and other various media outlets.

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