Minivan driver claims he wasn’t asleep, screaming tourists caused crash

PHOTO: A minivan crashed either because of a screaming passenger or a sleeping driver. (via TPN National)

A minivan full of Russian tourists crashed either as a result of a screaming passenger or a sleeping driver, depending on who you believe. The minivan crashed into a tree after the driver was seen slumping over in his chair and one of the passengers screamed loudly, either out of fear, or too quickly to wake up the sleeping driver.

The transport van was carrying ten Russian tourists from Pattaya to Chanthaburi province. They were making the run for visa extensions. After the scream, the minivan crashed into a tree, resulting in one tourist sustaining a broken leg.

The driver said he was spooked by a screaming tourist who mistook him for napping while driving. The driver said he had definitely not fallen asleep. He had slumped down in his chair to try to reach an inhaler that he had dropped on the ground while driving.

He was fine until the scream startled him so much that he lost control of the minivan and ploughed into a tree. The 40 year old driver was taken to the local police station in Rayong. Police are thoroughly scrutinising his story with a healthy amount of scepticism.

According to the authorities, the minivan crash occurred in Rayong province on Sukhumvit Road in the Kong Din sub-district, Klaeng district. It happened on Sunday at around 2pm.

The bronze minivan, transporting eight men and two women from Russia, smashed into a tree on the side of the road.

The ten Russian tourists were briefly trapped in the minivan after the crash. Local emergency responders arrived quickly though to free them from the wreckage.

All the victims were transported to a local hospital for medical attention. Fortunately, the injuries sustained by the six other tourists were not life-threatening. However, one tourist suffered a broken leg in the sleep- or scream-induced crash

Rayong police are contacting the families in Pattaya of the Russian tourists in the minivan crash to provide them with updates on each victim’s condition.

Eastern Thailand News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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