A taxi ride from Tak to Pattaya ended deadly for a tourist from Denmark when the driver dozed off during the journey and crashed into a lamp post.
“We were notified of a serious accident involving a taxi at around 11:00 Thursday morning,” deputy investigator Pol Capt Jamrat Chatwet of Khanu Woralaksaburi Provincial Police Station described the events. Pol Capt Jamrat, additional officers and rescue workers of the Sawang Kamphaeng Phet Rescue Foundation were dispatched to the scene.
“The accident took place between kilometre 395 and 396 on Phahonyothin Rd in Don Taeng subdistrict of Kamphaeng Phet province,” the investigator told reporters. Rescuers found the wrecked car, a yellow-green taxi with the license plate มข 9000 Bangkok, flipped over in the middle of the road.
The driver and his two passengers on the back seats, a Thai woman and a 49-year-old tourist from Denmark, were still inside the car when rescue workers arrived. “All three sustained very serious injuries,” Pol Capt Jamrat said. The driver, Surasak Jandaeng, 51, suffered a skull fracture, the 26-year-old woman named Daeng Sukgun was pulled out with a broken right arm.
As for the Danish tourist, all help came too late. The man, who police identified as Thomas Barsch, had succumbed to his injuries before emergency workers arrived. Rescue volunteers brought his body to Khanu Woralaksaburi Hospital; the two injured Thai passengers were rushed to Kamphaeng Phet Hospital.
Only several hours after the fatal accident, the driver’s condition was stable enough for police to question him about the crash. “Mr Surasak told us that he had travelled from Bangkok to Trat to pick up Mr Barsch and his friend Ms Daeng and drive them to Pattaya,” Pol Capt Jamrat revealed. “He said he arrived in Trat at about 10:00.”
According to Mr Surasak’s statement, he suddenly dozed off for a few seconds during the ride back to Pattaya and slowly drifted towards the side of the road. When he opened his eyes, he panicked and tried to bring the car back on course. He then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a lamp post.
“The impact caused the car to flip over and land upside down on the road,” Pol Capt Jamrat described the events. “Fortunately, no other vehicle was involved in the crash.”
Police have already informed the Danish Embassy of Mr Barsch’s death. The investigation is still ongoing.