Mother and child from Hmong family also killed on Sunday in Phetchabun province when a pickup lost control on a steep incline and overturned in the early hours of the morning.

Thai police have arrested and are proceeding with the prosecution of a pickup truck driver in Nakhon Si Thammarat whose speeding on Saturday evening led to the death of a 51-year-old woman attending a local funeral after his truck hit nine parked vehicles causing a conflagration when one of the automobiles exploded.

Thai police arrested the driver of the black pickup following the death of the Thai woman in hospital later on Saturday night shortly after the shocking incident. It followed an examination by police of CCTV footage from the vicinity of the multiple-vehicle crash.

Thai police at the scene of the car crash on Sunday in Phetchabun where black pickup overturned after the driver lost control on an incline. A woman and child were killed. On Saturday, there was a conflagration in the southern Thai province of Nakhon Si Thammarat (inset right) after another black truck crashed at speed into nine parked cars at a funeral. A 51-year-old Thai woman died later in hospital.

The accident occurred at Ban Chamao in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat at approximately 8.30 pm on Saturday.

Mourners were gathering for a funeral

Mourners in the area were gathering for a funeral service in the local vicinity near the Mueang area of the province. They had parked nine vehicles on the road near a temple opposite the Chamao police station.

Battle of wits with a speeding big bike

At the same time, in a battle of wits, the driver of the Mitsubishi pickup was manoeuvering to overtake a high powered motorbike, a so-called big bike, at speed on the road approaching the temple. He was travelling in this fashion when he crashed into the nine parked vehicles causing one of them to burst into flames.

Three injured adults removed by emergency services

The crash and conflagration led to three adults being taken from the scene to Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital by rescue services. One of these was 51-year-old Sirirat Raekchamnong who died from her injuries shortly later at the medical facility.

Following this, police arrested and questioned the Mitsubishi driver who has not yet been named. They are believed to be pursuing legal action and charges in relation to the matter.

Fatal pickup accident in Phetchabun province on Sunday left woman and child dead

The tragedy in the south was followed on Sunday morning by another fatal accident again involving a black pickup truck. This accident took place in the north-central province of Phetchabun in the extensive Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park which borders three provinces.

Black pickup truck carrying vegetables to market

The pickup truck was delivering vegetables from Phu Thap Boek to traders in the Lom Kao district when it is thought to have lost control while travelling on a steep incline. It overturned on to the side of the road after hitting a barrier. This was at 5.30 am.

Victims were an ethnic Hmong family

Two of the passengers in the vehicle, a woman and a child, were killed while the driver sustained injuries. Media reports suggest that the three were a Hmong family, a distinct ethnic group that live in areas of northern Thailand.

The family were removed by emergency services from the scene to Lom Kao Hospital.

Two tourists sustained minor injuries in a similar accident nearby coming down from a mountain area

Hours later, local media reported that two tourists were involved in a similar incident when travelling in a car coming down from Phu Thap Boek mountain in Phetchabun province. The car is reported to have hit an obstacle, said to be a mound of earth and overturned. Both tourists sustained minor injuries.

Most dangerous roads in Southeast Asia and perhaps the world according to a string of surveys

Thailand’s roads continue to be the most dangerous in Southeast Asia according to the World Health Organisation and by some estimates, the world. In comparison to the United States, a person is 263% more likely to be killed while driving in a vehicle on the roads in Thailand.

39% of traffic offences committed by repeat offenders

The problem is acknowledged openly by Thai police as being one of lack of public will to adjust driving attitudes and behaviour.

Thailand’s Highway Patrol Division of the Royal Thai Police highlight that 39% of road traffic offences in Thailand are caused by repeat offenders. Efforts to strengthen the road traffic laws have met with fierce public resistance which often causes the government to back down.

Speed and ill-discipline define many drivers 

The key issues are speeding and a lack of discipline. Thailand, like the UK and other Commonwealth countries, designates driving on the left side of the road. However, Thai drivers do not seem to accept the rule of driving on the left-hand side and passing on the right and quite often are likely to do the reverse. 

It is not uncommon for speeding or racing to become a battle of wills and this harmful fault is not just limited to men but also affects Thai women who can be particularly spirited at the wheel of an automobile.

Further reading:

Thailand’s road accident rate still a red light – many factors driving the carnage with no easy fix

World Bank report warns Thailand of huge potential economic loss caused by road carnage

Driving in Thailand really is dangerous – Don’t do it

Thai emergency rescuers cry as they meet 3 year old boy in Nakhon Ratchasima bus accident site

Friday evening horror smash in southern Thailand wipes out family riding pillion on a motorbike