A fatal taxi ride from Tak to Pattaya ended up killing a tourist from Denmark when the taxi driver dozed off during the journey and crashed his vehicle into a lamp post at speed.
“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 post 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, on its back, having 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 injuries from the crash,” Pol Capt Jamrat said. The two injured Thai passengers were rushed to Kamphaeng Phet Hospital. The driver, Surasak Jandaeng, 51, suffered a skull fracture, while the 26-year-old woman named Daeng Sukgun was pulled out of the wreckage with just a broken arm.
Sadly, help arrived too late for the Danish tourist whom police identified as Thomas Barsch. He succumbed to his injuries before emergency workers arrived. Rescue volunteers took his body to Khanu Woralaksaburi Hospital.
Several hours after the fatal accident, police to question the driver about the crash. “Mr Surasak told us that he had driven from Bangkok to Trat to pick Mr Barsch and his friend up and drive them to Pattaya,” revealed Pol Capt Jamrat. “They set out from Trat at about 10:00 that morning.”
According to Mr Surasak’s statement, he seems to have dozed off for a few seconds during the ride back to Pattaya and drifted towards the side of the road. When he opened his eyes, he panicked and tried to bring the car back on course. He over steered and lost control of the vehicle, crashing it 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 informed the Danish Embassy of Mr Barsch’s death. The investigation is still ongoing.
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