PATONG: A 10-wheel truck carrying a full load of rocks and soil went out of control coming down the hill into Patong from Kathu yesterday, smashing into 12 vehicles, including a hotel staff bus, and then ramming a roadside garage. Amazingly, no one was seriously injured, though 15 people in the hotel bus had to be treated for cuts and bruises. The driver, named by the police as Monchai Srichang, 28, from Krabi, lost control of the truck on a sharp curve near Wat Suwankiriwong. Pol Capt Boonlert Onklang, the case investigator, told the Gazette, “The accident happened just after it had rained, so the road was quite slippery. “The truck came down the hill fast and crashed into two cars in front of it. Then it went over to the other side of the road and crashed into a six-wheel bus that was transporting staff from the Baan Thai Beach Resort, and into nine other vehicles. “Finally it smashed into the wall of a small garage and stopped.” He added, “One of the 12 vehicles was, in fact, a Kathu Police Station pick-up truck, which I was in at the time.” Capt Boonlert said that during the investigation Monchai advised that it was the first time he had driven the truck to Patong. He was charged with reckless driving after admitting he was aware that the truck’s brakes were in a poor condition and that there was no tread on the near-side tires. The police believe this was probably why the truck could not be controlled when it reached the curve. The owner of the garage, meanwhile, is beginning to feel as if there is a target painted on his wall. “It’s not the first time,” said Pitak Rattana, 30. “The same thing happened last November.”
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