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Lucky escape no laughing matter

RAWAI: Twelve staff from Tamarind Bar on Wiset Rd miraculously escaped fatal injuries when the pickup truck they were traveling in careened off the road and smashed into a power pole, causing passengers to be thrown from the vehicle about 1 am today.

Eye-witnesses said the four-door Toyota Hilux Vigo was northbound on Wiset Rd when its left wheels came off the ground as it rounded the corner south of Saiyuan Rd, before slamming down on all four wheels, smashing into a concrete power pole, flipping onto its side and becoming entangled with high-voltage electricity cables.

Passengers in the back of the truck were thrown from the vehicle, which came to rest next to a drainage ditch about 100 meters from Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort.

Gazette reporters were at the scene as paramedics and rescue volunteers began treating the injured. Chalong police officers cordoned off the site, and by 2:15 am the officers reported that there were no immediate fatalities as a result of the accident.

However, all of the passengers except the driver sustained serious injuries, including broken bones, concussions and deep cuts.

The vehicle’s sole airbag, on the driver’s side, deployed during the accident. The driver, a female named “Jay”, was the only person unhurt in the accident, and subsequently the last to be removed from the wreckage.

Police took her ID card before she was driven to hospital for a checkup.

Expat residents and locals, including a group of Harley-Davidson riders, who arrived at the scene soon after the accident were visibly shaken – some moved to tears – by the sight of mangled wreckage and broken bodies of a dozen people in varying states of consciousness, some bleeding profusely.

Victims who were able to talk to the Gazette reporters before being taken to hospital said the driver apparently lost control when she was tickled in the ribs by one of the passengers.

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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