CHIANGRAI TIMES– The driver of the truck involved in a head-on crash that killed four young Swedes and their Thai driver has surrendered to police and is now in jail.
The man, Muhanadyousi Jayousao, 27, walked in at Khok Kloi Police Station, the closest police facility to the scene of the crash north of Phuket, about 10.30am today.
He confessed that his poor driving led to the deaths of the five people in the car struck by his truck – Johan Olof Nikolas Svensson, 22, Frida Madeleine Falk, 22, Anders Tobias Larsson, 22, Elin Marita Hedbris, 21, and driver Wichit Phromluang, 26.
Khun Muhanadyousi told police that he had driven the truck from his home province of Narathiwat, in Thailand’s deep south. He was heading to Phuket to pick up a load of fish.
Narathiwat is about 670 kilometres south of Phuket. The six-wheel refrigerated truck crossed a grassy gully dividing a four-lane highway and demolished the hired car about 10 kilometres from the bridge onto Phuket.
The collision came about 7am on Thursday morning. Khun Muhanadyousi fled the scene. Today, having been counselled to surrender, he returned to the Khok Kloi district.
Police have charged him initially with dangerous driving. He appeared soon after in court in Phang Nga Town, which is the capital of Phang Nga, the neighboring province north of Phuket.
As is customary, Khun Muhanadyousi will appear in court every 12 days until his case is heard. Given that five people have been killed, police are likely to consider laying more serious charges than dangerous driving.
His case will be reviewed every 12 days until the prosecutors are ready to proceed.
The two young Swedish couples were on their way to Chumporn for more diving after taking an enjoyable holiday break in Patong, the western holiday coast capital of Phuket.
According to investigating police, it’s likely that the fish truck was airborne when it rose up the gully’s slope and descended on the car, killing all five people inside instantly.
Not many vehicles are on that road, either travelling north away from Phuket or south to Phuket, at that hour of any morning.
The driver’s complete version of events is not likely to be heard until the case against him proceeds. Police are likely to take more than 12 days to compile their case against him.
Senior police believe the driver either fell asleep or there was a mechanical failure. It’s usual in cases where there has been a fatality for crash vehicles to be checked thoroughly for defects.
The bodies of the Swedes are at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City. Their driver’s body has been taken by his family to a province in northern Thailand for a Buddhist cremation.