Eight people were killed and 51 others injured when a bus travelling from Chiang Mai to Bangkok left the road and crashed into the fence of a fuel station in Lampang’s Thoen district early yesterday. It was suspected that the bus driver had dozed off behind wheel.
After reports of an accident at 12.30am yesterday, police and rescue workers rushed to the Pong Kham fuel station between Kilometres 621 and 622 on Phaholyothin Highway to find the wreckage of a bus owned by New Wiriya Yanyon Co. The bodies of four male and four female passengers were discovered along with 51 injured passengers, who were taken to nearby hospitals.
Thoen Police Station superintendent Colonel Peera Temyaem said the eight deceased persons were bus driver Boonrod Maenpayak, Wanpen Boonkham, 49, Wisaruth (last name unknown), Busu Pianrae, 39, Orathai Seubpeng, 30, Somsak Samanit, 26, Suwan Saethao, 20, and an unknown woman.
Peera said the police investigating the accident found no trace of another car’s involvement and thus suspected the bus driver had fallen asleep behind wheel. It was fortunate that the bus had not crashed into the station’s tank of liquefied petroleum gas, as that would have led to a greater loss of life, he commented.
Victims’ belongings were being kept at Thoen Police Station, said Peera, who urged victims’ relatives to contact the police.
A bus crash on the same road two months ago claimed seven lives, police said.