Phuket tour bus driver flees the scene after killing pedestrian

PHUKET: Once again, the driver of a Phuket tour bus has fled the scene after hitting and killing a local woman. The incident occurred as the woman was crossing Thepkrasattri Road in Thalang last night. The bus was carrying Chinese tourists.

In a practice which would appear to have now become entrenched as a norm, the driver abandoned the bus and ran.

The fatality occurred about 400 meters from the Baan Nai Klum u-turn, close to where another hit-and-run victim perished just over two weeks ago (story here).

When the police arrived with volunteer rescue workers, they found the body of the woman whose head had been crushed and demolished by the impact.

A search of the corpse revealed no identifying documents, but a witness to the accident, the owner of a nearby karaoke bar, identified the woman as a Myanmar national in her 50s who often crossed the road at that spot to get to a grocery store on the other side.

“While she was crossing, I saw a bus traveling at high speed and yelled out a warning. Unfortunately, she didn’t hear me. She died immediately,” Panor Youman, owner of the venue, said.

“I don’t remember much about the bus, except its color, which was white,” she added.

Police later found the bus parked about a kilometer from the scene.

“It had a cracked windshield. Inside we found Chinese passengers and a tour guide, but the driver had fled,” Maj Kittipoom Tinthalang of the Thalang Police told the Phuket Gazette.

The guide, Lalalin Lalitaworakarn, 28, told the police, “The bus belongs to the Pichairat tour company. We were on our way to a hotel in Mai Khao after a day-trip to Koh Hei [Coral Island] when the accident happened.

“After the accident, I tried to calm the driver. But he carried on for a bit and then parked the bus beside the road before running away,” she added.

Police are confident they will be able to apprehend the driver.

“It probably won’t be hard to identify the driver because the company will have his information and photo ID,” Maj Kittipoom said.

— Thawit Bilabdullar

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