18 wheels of karma
A would-be car thief was given a crushing dose of justice on the motorway between Bangkok and Pattaya, after his bid to rip off a taxi driver’s vehicle ended with him being flattened by an 18-wheel truck. Taxi driver Nirit Luangjan, 40, picked up a passenger in Bangkok one day early last month, driving the fare all the way to the seaside resort town on Pattaya. With gasoline prices so high, Nirit understandably did not want to drive all the way back to Bangkok without a fare. He therefore roamed the streets of Pattaya, hoping to find someone looking for a ride to the capital. His patience eventually paid off – or so he thought – when in the early morning hours of September 26 he came across a young man who said he was willing to foot the bill. As the pair drove through Chon Buri Muang’s District, however, K. Nirit felt the urge to stop and empty his bladder by the side of the road. It was at this point that his young fare, Watcharin Kertsri, 18, seized his opportunity. Just as K. Nirit was finishing his business, Watcharin jumped on him, held him in a headlock, and tried to steal his wallet. K. Nirit tried to fight back, but was no match for his younger opponent. He decided to make a break and run for help instead. Watcharin, meanwhile, sprinted back to the taxi and revved the engine to make his getaway. Unfortunately for him, his driving ability did not match his prowess at fighting. Instead of speeding away into the night, the taxi lurched backwards, into a drainage ditch between the two carriageways. Watcharin, whose name means “the birth of glory”, had accidentally put the car into reverse, not forward. K. Nirit, having regained his strength and courage, rushed in to try and retrieve his precious taxi. But after a brief tussle, Nirit again found himself overpowered. Again, he began to run away. This time, however, he had enraged Watcharin, who gave chase down the road. Like a tiger chasing down his prey, Watcharin kept his eyes steadfast on K. Nirit as he closed the distance between them. So intense was his focus that the youth failed to notice an 18-wheeler hurtling down the road, straight at him. According to one witness, the thief was left “smashed to pieces”. K. Nirit and the truck driver were taken to Chon Buri City Police Station for questioning.
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