Pattaya Daily News

03 March 2013 :: 17:03:39 pm 72553

Reckless Van Driver Blamed For Fiery Fatal Crash

Two survivors of a van crash that killed seven people blamed the driver’s reckless speeding. The commuter van was traveling from Bangkok to Rayong, when it hit a median pole and turned over and caught fire. Two female passengers escaped, included the seriously injured driver. The trapped passengers who burned to death included two children.
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SATTAHIP – March 2, 2013 [Pattaya Daily News]: at 9 a.m., the police reported the results of their follow-up investigation of a fatal van crash that killed seven people.

At about 9 a.m. on March 1, a commuter van lost control and collided with the median pole in the road, causing a fire that burnt the whole van. The accident occurred on highway 86 near the entrance to Rayong, in front of the Peera Circuit Car Racing Field.

At the scene, police discovered the burnt Toyota commuter taxicab van, which drove a route between Bangkok-Mabtaphood-Rayong. Inside were the burnt bodies of 5 females and 2 males. Two of the victims were children, ages 1 and 7.

Two female passengers had escaped the van, along with the seriously-injured driver. They were all rushed to the hospital. The van driver was identified as Mr. Chuchart Phochai, age 50.

The two surviving passengers had moderate injuries. One was identified as Ms. Aroonsri Kraisit, age 41, living in Tambon Khongnamwon, Amphur Meuang, Rachburi province. The other survivor was Mrs. Sriphrai Semsuksai, age 56, living on Sukhumvit road, Amphur Paknam, Samutprakarn province

Police said the van had picked up passengers going from Bangkok to Rayong. The van was being driven at a high speed when the accident occurred. Police assumed that the driver fell asleep at the wheel, causing the van to lose control and collide violently with the median pole. The impact caused the van to turn over and then burst into flames. The van had NGV gas tanks installed, which caused the fire to engulf the entire vehicle and kill the trapped passengers inside.

Police will investigate the injured van driver when he recovers enough to answer questions, to find the exact cause of the accident and proceed further according to the law.

At 11 a.m., on March 2, police conducted a follow-up to the case and questioned the injured survivors, said Pol. Col. Somneuk Jankate, Superintendent of the Nong Preu Police station, which coordinated with the Phlutaluang police station in the investigation.

Officers found that Mr. Chuchart was severely injured and being closely supervised under the doctor’s care. After talking with the survivors, police initially charged Mr. Chuchart with driving carelessly, causing the death of other people.

 

Police questioned a crash survivor, Ms. Aroonsri, who is on the QA staff of KFC Yum Restaurant Co., Ltd. She had suffered injuries to her head, and a gash to her right leg that required 9 stitches to close.

Ms. Aroonsri told police that at 6:40 a.m. that Saturday morning, she got on the van in Aekkamai, Bangkok, and sat in the second row of seats. During the commute, she saw that the driver was driving so fast and unsafely during the entire ride, she had to pray in her mind all the time to be safe from this scary traveling.

Suddenly the van lost control and hit the pole and overturned. Then a fire burnt severely in the van, and the smell of gas and smoke filled the van’s interior. Ms. Aroonsri tried to break the mirror window of the van but she could not, until a bystander used a rock to hit the mirror window until it broke. She stuck her head out of the van to breathe, and then she was pulled out of the van and barely survived.

She made a public plea to all van drivers to be careful, and don’t be careless until a terrible event like this occurs where many people died.

The other passenger who survived, Ms. Sriphrai suffered mainly pain throughout her body from the crash. She told police she had been sitting in the same row as Ms. Aroonsri Kraisit, and they both had survived together.

She was sitting close to the door of the van, and from her observation, she saw the driver was continually talking to an old woman sitting beside him in the front of the van, and not giving his full attention to the road. She was so frightened with the accident, and feels very lucky she survived when all the other passengers were killed.

The doctor told police that he had to do emergency surgery on Mr. Chuchart, who had been seriously injured in the crash and also suffered burns to his body. The officers from the Phlutaluang police station are closely monitoring Mr. Chuchart’s condition in the hospital.

Reporter : Nirach   Photo : Nirach   Category : Community News

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