Jeep plunges down mountainside in Thailand, driver dies, 5 Israeli tourists survive

A jeep tumbled 30 metres down a mountainside and into a river yesterday in Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand. The Thai driver died in the accident and five Israeli tourists survived with injuries.

At 2pm yesterday, officers at Mueang Chiang Rai Police Station were informed that a fatal car crash occurred near the entrance of an Akha Pang Klang hill tribe village in Mueang district.

Police said the jeep must have skidded off the narrow, winding dirt track leading up to the hill tribe village.

The vehicle tumbled 30 metres down the mountainside into the abyss, overturning several times before landing in the Mae Sad River.

Police found the body of the 51 year old tour guide Wirarat (surname reserved) underneath the car wreckage. He was thrown out of the vehicle which landed on top of him, said police.

All five Israeli tourists were injured but none sustained life-threatening injuries. Two sustained minor injuries while three more, a man and two women, were taken for treatment at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital.

The tourists set off from Chiang Mai city and were just 1 kilometre away from their destination when the accident happened.

Police believe the driver must not have been familiar with the route which is a narrow, winding, grassy dirt track.

In July last year, a Norwegian driver’s car plunged 20 metres into a ravine, flipping over several times, after falling off the side of a cliff at a viewpoint in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. His Thai mother-in-law died in the accident and five more people were injured in the crash.

In March last year, a motocross rider died and another was seriously injured after driving off a cliffside in Chiang Mai and falling for more than 50 metres.

Road deathsThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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