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Pattaya Daily News

20 November 2012 :: 17:11:17 pm 68703

Sleepy Driver Causes Fatal Crash in Sriracha

An exhausted driver fell asleep at the wheel of a commuter van that crashed into the rear of a pickup truck minibus in Sriracha. The collision killed one person and injured nine others. The driver admitted to overworking and not sleeping enough to pay his bills.
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SRIRACHA – November 29, 2012 [Pattaya Daily News]; At 6:30 am, a report of a collision between two vehicles that killed one person and injured others was received by Pol. Maj. Capt. Nitipat Hemmakulset, officer of the shift, Sriracha police station.

The accident occurred on Sukhumvit Rd. Chonburi inbound, moo 2, Bangphra, Sriracha, Chonburi. The vehicle causing the crash was a white Toyota commuter van from Laem Chabang industrial estate.

The Toyota van driver had dozed off at the wheel, and his speeding van crashed into the tail of a pickup truck minibus filled with passengers on the Sriracha-Nongmon route.

At the scene, police discovered the front of the Toyata van was totally ruined. Nearby was the other vehicle, an orange Isuzu pickup truck minibus lying upside down. The rear of the minibus was severely damaged.

A male passenger from the minibus died from the impact. There were no documents on his body, and he appeared to be between 40-50 years old. Nine other injured passengers had been thrown from the pickup onto the road. Rescuers and nearby citizens helped take them to Phayathai hospital.

Waiting for the police was the van driver, Mr. Chanatip Sihing, age 39. He received only minor injuries. He told police that he had been hired as a commuter van driver by the Laem Chabang industry estate. Mr. Chanatip said he had dropped off his passengers on his first run, and was driving back to take another round. But while driving, he dozed off and crashed into the minibus.

He awoke to see the minibus passengers scattered on the road, some of them crying out in pain. So he helped to assist them to the hospital. Mr. Chanatip admitted he drove many rounds per day on the van, because he wanted money to pay his bills. So he did not have enough time for sleeping. He also was driving at a high speed, so it caused the accident.

The minibus driver, Mr. Sompol Puankjantuek, age 40, told police that he had been driving along Sukhumvit Rd. from Sriracha to Nongmon market, when the accident occurred.

The van had crashed into the back of his vehicle with a loud noise. The frightened and injured passengers screamed in fright and pain as his minibus lost its balance and turned upside down, flinging them from the vehicle. Mr. Sompol crawled out of his overturned vehicle, and saw that a male passenger had died. His other nine passengers were also badly injured.

The police detained Mr. Chanatip to investigate at the Sriracha police station and prosecute him afterwards.

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