Thai netizens are outraged by a video circulating on social media of a pickup truck blocking the way of an ambulance carrying a patient in critical condition to a hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima province in northeast Thailand.
An investigation revealed that the pickup driver is actually a Police Captain at Dan Khun Thot Police Station. Officers at Pak Chong Police Station fined him 500 baht for violating the Road Traffic Act (1979).
Ambulance driver Worawut Naebchid, a volunteer from the Sawangwitcha Dhammasathan Foundation, relayed what happened…
On Sunday morning, Worawut said he was informed by the rescue centre that a 73 year old lady was unconscious at Ban Khok Sanga village. The rescue team rushed to the scene but couldn’t wake up the patient. Worawut said it was a “red case” and the patient needed to be transported to the hospital immediately.
During the journey, near the Mittraphap Fresh Market, the ambulance was blocked by a Ford pickup truck despite Worawut turning on the siren and emergency lights.
The pickup truck stopped at a red light and forced the ambulance to a stop. Worawut said the team made an announcement asking for the Ford driver to give way to the vehicle because there was a patient in critical condition inside. However, the driver did not move out of the way but got out of the car and walked up to the ambulance.
The ford driver said, “Didn’t you see the red light?”
“We have a patient in critical condition inside the ambulance. Please can you move to the left?” replied the ambulance driver.
The ford driver did not reply but got back inside his vehicle. The lights changed to green and he drove off but remained in the way of the ambulance.
The ambulance stopped at the entrance to Nanthakhet to transfer the patient from the rescue service ambulance into a hospital ambulance.
The pickup truck driver drove up to the parked ambulance. Worawut said he and his team were shocked.
The team asked him, “Why didn’t you move?” and the driver said, “I work around here.”
However, the team were busy seeing to the patient so they said they stopped responding to the Ford driver after that.
Pak Chong Police invited Pol. Col. Chanchai to a meeting with the Sawang Wicha Thammsat Foundation on Sunday afternoon so that he could apologise for blocking the ambulance’s way.
However, the perpetrator didn’t turn up to the appointment, citing that he was subject to an investigation by police and couldn’t make it.
Pak Chong Police charged Chanchai with blocking the way of an emergency vehicle, violating Section 76(2) of the Road Traffic Act (1979). Chanchai was fined 500 baht.
The patient had a stroke and remained in critical condition in hospital.