CHIANG MAI – The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Chatchai Promlert has reported that 12 tourists from Malaysia were killed and 11 of their companions injured when the bus they were travelling in ran off the road on the highway between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Provinces on Sunday.
The incident happened on Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Highway in Ban Pan Fan village of Pa Miang sub-district in Doi Saket at about 11.30pm, said Chatchai Promlert.
The bus was heading from Chiang Rai province to Chiang Mai when it hit a passenger car and then slammed into a power pole before plunging over an embankment.
Police reported the Thai bus driver hit another vehicle earlier in Mae Khajan area of Chiang Rai and was being chased by the driver of the damaged vehicle.
The bus driver noticed the diver of the vehicle he hit earlier was following him and he started speeding and driving recklessly, trying to escape the vehicle.
Rescue workers rushed the injured to several local hospitals, while Tourist police and translators of the Chinese consulate-general in Chiang Mai assisted officials and offered help.
Police said thee bus driver is in custody at Doi Saket Hospital, where he will be tested for alcohol and drugs, charges of reckless driving causing death and fleeing the scene of an accident are pending.