BURI RAM – At least 18 people, most of them construction workers, have been killed when a pickup truck crashed into a tree on a rural road in Thailand’s northeast on Monday, police reported.
Police Col. Suthee Setthawong said the Toyota pickup, adapted to carry passengers, was carrying a total of 23 men and women heading to Ubon Ratchathani. It ran off the Buri Ram–Satuk road, part of Highway 219, in tambon Ban Dan of Ban Dan district.
Police and a rescue team rushed to the scene as soon as the accident was reported. Bodies were scattered on the ground outside the vehicle, with bodies still trapped inside the twisted wreckage.
He said that 10 men, including the 24-year-old driver, and 6 women, were killed, while at least five others were injured and taken for hospital treatment.
The accident happened on a straight stretch of the road and there was no rain. No other cars were involved. At this point, it’s likely he was falling asleep while the car was traveling at high speed. Witnesses said the driver appeared to lose control and the vehicle veered off the road and continued for about 100 meters before ramming into a tree.
Police also found a tablet of methamphetamine in the driver’s pocket and a bottle of alcohol next to his seat, Suthee said.
Police said they were working to identify the construction workers, as well as their nationalities. The driver was a Thai national.
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