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18-wheeler wipes out pickup truck, noodle stand: 1 dead, 6 injured



PHUKET: Thalang Police are searching for the driver of an 18-wheel truck and trailer that slammed into a pickup, plowing the vehicle into a roadside noodle stand in Phuket last night.

The driver of the rig fled the scene, where one person was killed and six more injured.

Thalang Police were notified of the accident, on Thepkrasattri Road northbound near the PTT gas station in Srisoonthorn, at 7pm.

Arriving at the scene with Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers, police found a badly-damaged Mazda pickup truck slammed into the front of a roadside noodle shop.

Two damaged motorbikes and an unoccupied 18-wheel flatbed truck-and-trailer rig that is presumed to have caused the multi-vehicle collision were nearby.

One customer at the restaurant, 50-year-old Daruwan Tantirangsimaphan, was killed instantly from massive head trauma. Mrs Daruwan, a local resident, was an assistant nurse at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.

Five of the six other victims were rushed to Thalang Hospital for emergency treatment.

Most of the injured were members of the Maneesri family, all local residents of the same home in Srisoonthorn. They were traveling in the family pickup at the time of the accident.

The were listed as: Peerapong Maneesri (the driver), 40; Phalot Maneesri, 11; Sasima Maneesri, 37; Phalothon Maneesri, 6; and Rerm Maneesri, 74.

It took rescue workers about one hour using “jaws of life” metal cutters to free Mrs Rerm from the cab of the vehicle, after which time she was also rushed to hospital for treatment.

A sixth injured person, 12-year-old Chaiyanon Kiantireuangrit, was also a customer at the restaurant at the time of the accident. He is listed as a resident of the Phuket Villa 1 housing estate in Phuket Town.

The driver of the Phuket-registered rig was nowhere to be found when police arrived. The cab of the unladen rig was not clearly marked with a company name, rescue workers said.

As of this morning, Thalang Police were still searching for the man, the Phuket Gazette has confirmed.

The survivors will be questioned once they have sufficiently recovered, police said.

— Thawit Bilabdullar


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