Northern ThailandPolitics

Hit-and-run crash kills Move Forward candidate in northern Thailand

Tiranon Wiangtham, photo via Pita Limjaroenrat Facebook.

A hit-and-run crash killed a Move Forward candidate in northern Thailand, who was expected to seek a constituency seat in Phrae province. The prospective candidate, Tiranon ‘Lawyer Ken’ Wiantham, was hit by a speeding truck in the province after campaigning on Sunday, February 26, according to witnesses. He died from his injuries yesterday morning.

Tiranon was a volunteer lawyer known for his fight against mining operations. He was fondly called the “lawyer for the poor.”

Move Forward party-list MP Pol Maj Chavalit Laoha-udomphan said party policy leaflets were found scattered around the scene of the crash in Sung Men district, Bangkok Post reported.

Witnesses said they were riding their motorcycles in front of Tiranon’s bike after he had returned from campaigning for votes. They said a pickup truck, with its high beams on, was travelling at high speed from the opposite direction on the one-lane road. The motorcyclists had to swerve suddenly to get off the road, but Tiranon was unable to escape in time.

The pickup struck Tiranon’s bike, which fell over, and he was badly injured. The driver then fled the scene, the witnesses said.

Chavalit has called on the police to urgently track down the fleeing driver and bring him to the task. Chavalit said…

“A scratch on Ken’s motorcycle together with the footage from a CCTV camera showed that there was another car involved in the accident. Ken did not crash a motorcycle on his own. Witnesses also reported information that matched the evidence. What police have to investigate is where the car came from and who drove it on that night. The officers are not ruling out the possibility that someone intentionally crashed into him.”

Chavalit suggested that if the Sung Men Police Station could not handle the case alone, it could request support from the Provincial Investigation Commission.

Pita expressed his condolences to Tiranon’s family and praised Tiranon for being a democratic-minded lawyer who pursued justice.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.