SURIN – A passenger van packed with 17 passengers heading to Ratchathani from Bangkok struck a power pole, killing one man and injuring 13, in Surin early Saturday.
The fatal crash occurred between kilometer makers 18 and 19 on Highway 226 along the Surin-Si Sa Ket route in tambon Muang Tee of Muang district, said Pol Col Sairung Yaemngam, a duty officer at the district police station, who received the call at 2.30am.
Police and rescue workers found the van overturned in a roadside ditch. The body of a man was found about 100 metres away. The other passengers had also been thrown from the vehicle and 13 in all had injuries and were rushed to Surin Hospital.
Van driver Thawit Khenbuppa, 39, told police that the van left Bangkok at around 7pm Friday and was en route to Ubon Ratchathani. Driving through Surin at around 2am, he said he felt the van swerve so he turned the steering wheel but lost control.
Police say they believe the driver had dozed off the wheel, causing him to lose control of the van. The vehicle then veered off the road, hit a power pole and overturned.
The driver is being held in police custody and could face charges of reckless driving causing death and injuries.
By Nopparat Kingkaew