Online and media outrage over the incident has led to an investigation of the car’s owner which is a company in the Ramkhamhaeng area of Bangkok. On Tuesday evening, a security officer revealed that the company’s directors drive the luxury cars but are considered polite and kind-hearted people.
There was public outrage in Bangkok on Tuesday after a viral video surfaced on TV media showing a luxury Mercedes on a city highway refusing to give way to an emergency ambulance transferring a seriously ill patient from one hospital to another. The incident has led to calls for new laws and penalties as well as indignation towards the driver of the executive car who showed a complete lack of respect for human dignity and life.
A Thai ambulance driver in Bangkok has told the media that every second can count for seriously ill or critically patients being transferred from emergency sites or between hospitals.
Warutpho Sikaew was speaking to reporters after a story erupted on Tuesday following a viral online video with showed a black executive Mercedes car refusing to give way to an ambulance on a busy Bangkok highway as it transported a critically ill patient from one hospital to another.
47-year-old wife of the seriously ill patent was in the ambulance with her husband
The 47-year-old wife of the seriously ill man was on board the ambulance as it struggled to weave its way through busy Bangkok traffic when the incident occurred.
Mr Warutpho was anxiously sending signals to the gleaming black Mercedes in the right lane in front of him, impeding their progress, to clear the way but the car stubbornly held its course.
Finally, as the Mercedes car was about to turn left anyhow to exit the toll road, it moved off course but not without the driver lowering the window and sticking his arm out to make a disrespectful gesture using his finger to the emergency vehicle on active service.
Video uploaded by a concerned Facebook user
The video was uploaded to Facebook by a concerned netizen Dung Kasemphong who was saddened more than anything else about what he had witnessed. ‘This happened today with my little brother. Fancy car but no heart, not only did he remain blocking the road, but he gave us the middle finger,’ he noted as he left it for others to see and make their own judgment.
Thai woman hurt by the incident
Nucharin, the 47-year-old wife of the patient aboard the ambulance was understandably hurt by the incident when reporters caught up with her this week.
She explained that her husband was being transferred from Phyathai 2 Hospital to Phyathai Sriracha Hospital.
His condition was a serious one and, therefore, the ambulance was flashing its lights and helping to clear the way to allow him to reach the second hospital.
Asked the Mercedes driver to consider if his relative was the patient in the ambulance
She told reporters that she felt sure that if the driver of the Mercedes Benz had a relative in a similar situation, he would not have acted like that.
She was heartened by the support they had received and confirmed that her husband as now under the expert care of the doctors at his new hospital.
Ambulance driver also concerned for the luxury car driver – says he pities the man
Mr Warutpho, the ambulance driver told the media that he also pitied the driver of the Mercedes car as such incidents are an opportunity to show charity and make merit by people going about their daily business.
He again emphasised that the care and deference shown by other car drivers make a significant difference to patients in all situations especially in emergencies.
Car owned by a Bangkok company
Follow up enquiries revealed that the luxury black Mercedes sedan was owned by a company in the Ramkhamhaeng area of Bangkok.
A news crew visited the site of the company on Tuesday evening and encountered only a security guard.
Directors car says security guard but explained that the directors of his company are good people
He confirmed that such cars are driven by directors of the concern. However, he explained that in his experience, they are all kind and considerate people. He concluded that the car must have been in the hands of a stranger when the incident took place.
Calls for a change to the law
It has also emerged that the Mercedes driver was breaking the law with his selfish and uncaring driving.
A lawyer named as Mr Decha Kittiwittayanan interviewed by the media in the aftermath of the controversy on Tuesday has called for penalties to be increased for failure to comply with existing legal provisions which place a responsibility on all car drivers to make way for emergency vehicles.
The maximum fine under Article 76 of the Thai Traffic Act imposes a maximum fine of ฿500.
However, it may be a different story if failure by a car driver to make way could be shown to have led to a loss of life although prosecutors would have to show causation.
+ Black Mercedes driver gives the finger to an ambulance carrying a seriously ill passenger. Revealed to be a car owned by Bangkok company director. Incident has caused online, media and public outrage.https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news-foreigners/2019/11/13/bangkok-hospital-ambulance-incident-black-mercedes-car-driver-ill-passenger/Carla Boonkong reports from Bangkok
Posted by ThaiExaminer.com on Wednesday, November 13, 2019