Village chief survives accidentally shooting himself while driving in central Thailand

Photo via Matichon and Channel 3

Somehow, a village chief accidentally shot himself in the leg and hand while driving through Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province in central Thailand yesterday. He tried to drive himself to the hospital but ended up crashing into a temple.

At 12.22am, officers from Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Police Station received a report of a car accident at Phra Si Sanphet temple.

Police found a black Toyota Fortuner SUV lodged in the temple’s fence. The driver’s seat was covered in blood. On the left seat lay an 11-calibre gun and 12 bullets. Police later found that the gun was unregistered.

The injured driver, 37 year old Surasak Prongfah, lay on the floor outside the vehicle. He had a wound on his right thigh and another on his left hand.

Surasak lost a lot of blood but he could still communicate with the police officers and rescue workers. He told them he was the village chief of a community in the central province of Ang Thong. He said he was driving home after visiting a friend in Ayutthaya when he shot himself.

The village chief said that his gun accidentally fired while he was driving the car, but didn’t go into more detail about how.

Surasak continued driving, hoping to reach the hospital, but couldn’t bear the injury anymore and crashed into the temple’s fence.

A 24 year old witness, Rachain Sookseeda, told the media that Surasak lowered his car window and asked him for directions to the nearest hospital. Rachain hopped on his motorbike and led the way, however, Surasak crashed shortly afterward.

Police tried to breathalyse Surasak to check if he was drink-driving, but Surasak was so injured that he “couldn’t blow.”

Rescue workers gave Surasak first aid at the scene and transferred him to Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya Hospital for treatment. He is now in a safe condition.

The injured insisted that he did not have any conflicts with anyone and that he shot himself. He apologised for his recklessness.

Initially, police seized the weapon and charged Surasak with owning a firearm without permission, violating Section 371 of Thailand’s Criminal Code…

“Any person who goes armed in a town, village or public way openly or without justifiable grounds, or is armed amongst a public gathering for religious purposes, recreational purposes or any other purposes shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred baht.”

While a 100 baht fine for illegally owning a gun and shooting yourself might seem pointless, police said the village chief could face up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to 20,000 baht if he is found to have violated Section 8 of the Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, Fireworks, and Imitations of Firearms Act (1947.)

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.
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