David John Sewell
A high-speed chase between police and a man from Britain ended in tragedy. The 60-year-old died after crashing his car while trying to avoid being caught with drugs stashed in his car.
In the evening of Thursday, June 28, Pol Lt Col Pattanawong Janpon spotted a car with an open door parked on the roadside while on patrol in Nong Na Kham subdistrict of Udon Thani province. “The driver’s door stood open, so we approached the car to find out if there was a problem,” Pol Lt Col Pattanawong said when questioned by reporters.
Pol Lt Col Pattanawong, who serves as deputy chief of Udon Thani Provincial Police Station, said as soon as he reached the car, the driver, a foreign man, panicked. “He was visibly surprised when he saw us and immediately shut the door and took off. At that moment it became clear that he had something illegal in his car and called for backup.”
The routine patrol turned into a high-speed chase as the man, who was later identified as David John Sewell, 60, turned onto Highway 22 between Udon Thani and Sakhon Nakhon province. Several police cars coming from both directions started to pursue Mr Sewell’s Honda Civic bearing the license plate กน 5876 Udon Thani.
Only ten kilometres further, the chase came to an abrupt end when Mr Sewell’s car collided with the rear of an 18-wheeler at kilometre 18 located between the villages of Nikhom Nong Tan Nong Kae. “The crash happened at about 21:00. We immediately called for an ambulance,” Pol Lt Col Pattanawong described the events.
According to an initial police report, Mr Sewell had sustained life-threatening injuries. His condition was unstable, and he passed away shortly after arriving at Udon Thani Hospital.
When police inspected the demolished car, they found the reason for Mr Sewell’s sudden escape. On the passenger seat, officers discovered a variety of drugs, including a bag containing about 30 grams of marihuana, 80 methamphetamine pills also known as yaba>, five bags of crystal meth (ice) and another seven bags of cocaine. The drugs were partly hidden in empty smartphone boxes. Investigators strongly believe that Mr Sewell had been dealing drugs in the area on a regular basis.
Police contacted Mr Sewell’s 47-year-old wife who was only named as Maen from Bangkok. She told police that she had been married to Mr Sewell for about two years. “Mrs Maen claimed that she had no idea that her husband was dealing drugs,” Pol Lt Col Pattanawong said. According to her, Mr Sewell left the house every evening. “She thought he was out drinking with friends,” Pol Lt Col Pattanawong quoted Mr Sewell’s wife.
Despite denying any involvement in her husband’s drug dealing business, police detained her after they found more marihuana hidden in their house at 237/32 Mu 11 of Nong Bu village in Udon Thani’s Sam Phrao subdistrict some 20 kilometres from the crash site. Police detained Mrs Maen for questioning.
Further investigation into the case revealed that Mr Sewell had been living in Udon Thani for several years. He reportedly made a living by selling drugs to mostly foreigners in his area.
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