Australian businessman found unconscious in US street

Australian businessman found unconscious in US street

An Australian executive has been seriously injured in San Francisco, with police investigating whether he was assaulted.

Grain Producers Australia (GPA) has confirmed its chief executive, Colin Bettles , 54, is recovering in hospital.

“The GPA board is supporting his family and authorities to provide assistance where possible,” it said in a statement.

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“GPA is grateful to our networks, the authorities and US health professionals for their assistance in ensuring his welfare and ongoing care.”

Bettles was in an induced coma for four days before his family could trace him after he was found in a street with severe injuries, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

He was visiting San Francisco on a business trip last Thursday when he was apparently mugged in a street while returning from dinner with colleagues.

Bettles suffered severe injuries to his head and a fractured eye socket. He was rushed to hospital after a passer-by found him on the pavement and summoned help.

When his family were unable to contact him and discovered he failed to board his return fight to Australia, they contacted his friend New South Wales federal MP Michael McCormack.

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The former deputy prime minister raised the alarm with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

American authorities tracked Bettles to his hospital after being contacted by Australian officials.

McCormack said he spent five days in intensive care and is recovering.

“He’s an all-round good guy. No one deserves what has happened to him,” McCormack said.

DFAT and the San Francisco Police Department have been contacted for comment.

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