Stephane Sebastien Jean Peal
A regular visa run ended in tragedy when the van carrying fifteen people crashed into a house in Phang Nga province, killing three and injuring many others.
The accident occurred when the van, coming from Phuket and heading to Satun at the Malaysian border, careered off a wet road and crashed into a house in Phang Nga province on Wednesday morning.
Initial reports that two Russian nationals were among the victims have already been denied . The three foreigners killed in the crash were:
- Mr Stephane Sebastien Jean Peal (46) from France
- Mr Patrick Andre Pessey from France
- Ms Jessica Paller (40) from the Philippines
The trip was a so-called visa run; a procedure necessary for certain visa types to “activate” the next 90 days of their visa. Foreigners would only have to exit Thailand, enter another country and simply enter the Kingdom again for the 90 days to become active. How often this can be done depends mainly on the type of the visa.
Apart from the victims, foreigners from Russia, Indonesia, Australia, England, and the Philippines were also travelling in the van. The driver and his wife who was seated in the front seat were both Thai nationals.
The van, travelling at high speed, crashed into the wall of a roadside house at a curve on Highway 4311 connecting Mueang and Thap Put district at around 8:00. Pol Capt Chatree Piankhayai, deputy chief investigator at Mueang Provincial Police Station, said the injured and dead were trapped in the wreckage of the van, making it hard for rescue workers to free the victims.
All surviving passengers were later admitted with severe injuries to Vachira Phuket Hospital and Phang Nga Hospital. The driver and his wife were the only ones only sustaining minor injuries during the crash.
Police confirmed the driver’s testimony that the van was travelling from Phuket to Satun. It was raining and the driver lost control on the Bang Siad curve. The van ran off the road, hit a concrete post and then ploughed into the house wall. The driver was detained and charged with reckless driving causing death.
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- December 22, 2016: "Killer Phuket visa run driver charged with reckless driving, fined B150,000" (thephuketnews.com)