NAKHON RATCHASIMA – The Driver of the double-decker bus that crashed in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, in Northeast Thailand, killing 18 passengers and wounding 32 others, has admitted to police that he used methamphetamine to keep him awake and alert while driving.
Krissana Juthachuen, 44, was arrested by police yesterday (March 22) at roadside bushes where he was hiding, about seven kilometres away, after running away from the crash scene.
He suffered bruises on his face and body when he was apprehended by police hunting for the fugitive driver.
He confessed to police investigators that he took meth before driving off on a return trip from Chanthaburi province to Kalasin on March 21 using the Kabinburi- Nakhon Ratchasima road or known as Highway 304.
He said the drug could keep him awake and alert while driving.
Initial report blamed brake failure was the probable cause of the fatal accident as the bus was running down a slope section of the highway.
He told police that the bus was uncontrollable at the time because of brake failure. He was shocked and decided to flee the scene following the incident.
Mr Krissana was then sent to Pak Thong Chai Hospital to receive medical treatment for his injuries.
Police are considering three charges against him, drug abuse, driving under the influence of drug, and reckless driving that resulted in deaths and injuries.
Meanwhile, according to experts from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Department of Land Transport said the bus was old and not in good condition.
AIT experts joined forensic police and transport officials of the Department of Land Transport to investigate the cause of the fatal bus crash to find out if it was the bus or human error.
The bus’s height was above the safety 4-metre high limit, they said.
After the inspection of the wrecks of the bus, AIT expert Ms Aue-aree Jensupakarn said she was investigating if road conditions are safe enough and whether the driver is travelling at proper speed and familiar with the route.
Source: Thai PBS