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2 die in Kusoldham high-speed smash

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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2 die in Kusoldham high-speed smash | Thaiger

RASSADA: Two people died and five were injured when a Kusoldharm Volunteer Rescue Foundation truck rushing four accident victims to hospital collided with a Toyota sedan at high speed. The accident occured at the Tesco-Lotus intersection on Sunday morning.

Phuket City Police Inspector for Investigations, Lt Col Adul Nirapai, identified the two dead as Kusoldharm volunteer Apirak Suemuang, 24, and Namfon Niewnaen,19.

Namfon was one of four accident victims being rushed from Kathu to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City at the time of the accident, about 5:10 am.

The Kusoldharm pickup, with a covered bed, was heading back from Kathu along Phra Phuket Kaew Rd with siren sounding as it approached the intersection. The traffic light as the pickup approached the junction was flashing red, while the lights warning drivers along the bypass road were flashing yellow, Col Adul said.

Traveling northbound toward the intersection along the bypass road at the same time was a Toyota Vios being driven by a man identified as Pinij Aree, age not reported.

The front of his Vios hit the rescue truck on its side, slamming it into a traffic light pole. The force of the impact sheared the bed cover off the rescue truck and all five passengers, the four accident victims and rescue volunteer Apirak, were thrown from the bed.

Both Namfon and Apirak were rushed to Vachira, where they later died.

All seven people involved in the accident suffered injuries, including rescue truck driver Visak Sridaranop, he said.

Col Adul told the Gazette that the accident occurred because both drivers failed to exercise caution by driving at high speed, ignoring the traffic lights and failing to slow down and check for crossing traffic.

The drivers of both vehicles suffered non-critical injuries. During treatment they were given blood-alcohol tests, the results of which have not been released.

Images of the accident were recorded by closed-circuit television cameras installed at the intersection earlier this year, he added.

Mano Jaengchee, Deputy Director of Kusoldham Foundation’s disaster relief section, told the Gazette that the vehicle involved in the crash was dispatched from Kusoldharm’s Phuket City station.

“When our truck came to the Tesco-Lotus intersection it had to slow down because there are speed bumps along that section of road. It was just picking up speed again in an effort to get the patients to the hospital when a Toyota came speeding up the bypass road and ignored our siren,” he said.

K. Mano said he wanted traffic police to consider changing the system of late night warning signals used at the intersection, as these could cause confusion. He also called on motorists to pay more attention and cede the right-of-way to Kusoldharm vehicles when their sirens are sounding.

“It’s our duty to get accident victims safely to hospital as soon as possible for treatment. It was an accident that I never want to see repeated,” he said.

 

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