HAT YAI – A pickup truck carrying a group of students in southern Thailand careened Tuesday onto a traffic island and hit some trees, killing nine of the students and the driver, police said.
The 10 fatally injured people were the driver Kowit Jaihao and seven girls and two boys. Two seriously injured girl students were reportedly still alive in hospital. The force of the impact threw the students from the vehicle.
Police Lt. Sujin Srithong said the accident occurred in the southern province of Narathiwat when the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. He said four other students were in serious condition.
Trucks are often used for group transportation in Thailand.
Several studies have found that Thailand has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the world. A World Health Organization survey ranked it second worst after Namibia.