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Korean, Thai charged over Phuket horror crash



Korean, Thai charged over Phuket horror crash | Thaiger

PHUKET: Two men wanted by police for their involvement in a deadly crash on the bypass road earlier this month have reported to police, but only one accepts that his negligence might have played a role in the collision that claimed the lives of a young couple from Kathu.

Phuket City Police duty officer Thada Sodarak said that 30-year-old truck driver Faosi Samakij and Korean national Lee Joong Park, 40, will both face charges for their part in the accident.

Mr Faosi turned himself in at Phuket City Police Station on Friday, telling police he was not drunk at the time and that as a Muslim he does not drink alcohol, Lt Thada said.

“He said that before the accident his brother was on the road waving to drivers to alert them that the 18-wheeler was backing out across the bypass road southbound,” he said.

Mr Faosi, who told police he saw the ‘whole thing’, said the victims had stopped their motorbike to wait when Mr Park’s car ran into them before crossing over the median strip, hitting an oncoming car and overturning.

The force of the impact sent the driver and his motorbike under the truck, while his female passenger was catapulted into the air, ending up 70 meters from the point of impact, he said.

Mr Faosi told police he did not flee the scene of the accident, as initially reported, but claims he was among the large crowd of onlookers that had gathered by the time police arrived.

The Korean, who was badly injured in the crash, initially denied having made contact with the bike, but later said ‘some parts’ of the car may have hit the bike, Lt Thada said.

Mr Faosi has confessed to charges of negligent driving resulting in the death of another, but the Korean has denied similar charges, he added.

The family of 18-year-old Panatda Butrasan have demanded 800,000 baht in compensation from both men.

The family of 22-year-old Witthaya Kwianyon are expected to do the same by the end of the week, Lt Thada said.

Police have two months to forward the case to the courts, he said on Friday.

The prosecutor will decide, based on the evidence, whether to charge one or both men with negligence resulting in death, or lesser charges, he said.

As they are not considered flight risks, neither man has been incarcerated, he said.

Mr Park’s passport is being held to ensure he doesn’t leave the country, however.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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