48-year-old lorry driver Lorry Somthin Wilawan told police that he initially thought some steel rods had fallen from his vehicle and got out to see the that a van had smashed its rear. The van was carrying students to Bangkok’s Srinakharinwirot University.

Six Thai girls were removed to hospital on Saturday after a fatal collision which saw their driver killed in what police believe to be yet another case of passenger van driver fatigue. 

Rescue workers clean up the scene after the injured 6 Thai girls were removed from the damaged passenger van. The 33-year-old driver named as Saroj Khlabkhlai was killed in the impact which collapsed the front of the vehicle when it hit the rear of a loaded lorry on the highway to Bangkok.

Rescue workers worked fast on Saturday morning to retrieve six injured Thai girls trapped in a damaged passenger van with a dead driver after their transport to Bangkok hit a large truck in the early hours of the morning.

Accident on the inbound highway to Bangkok

The accident happened on the inbound motorway to Bangkok. Highway police and emergency services responded to the scene.

It took quite a while to extricate the passengers from the van. 5 of them were high school students while was attending university.

All six were heading to Srinakharinwirot University in central Bangkok.

33-year-old van driver died in the smash

Police believe that the 33-year old driver of the passenger van, named as Saroj Khlabkhlai, fell asleep at the wheel causing the van to hit the rear of the truck carrying steel rods. The accident occurred at approximately 5.30 am.

The impact caused catastrophic damage to the front of the van but left the girls alive but injured.

The students were rushed to hospital by responding ambulances.

Quick response to the scene by rescue services after 18 wheel lorry driver called highway police to the scene

The accident was reported to police just after it happened by the driver of the 18 wheel truck into which the van had crashed.

At the scene, police found the lorry with visible signs of damage to the rear.

The driver was named as 48-year-old Somthin Wilawan.

He explained to police that he was transporting steel rods from Laem Chabang port in Chonburi to Samut Prakan on the south-west of Bangkok.

Heard a disturbance behind his vehicle

He said that he heard a disturbance behind his vehicle and initially thought that some of the steel rods in his load had fallen off the back.

When he stopped his truck and got out, he was the first to see the crashed passenger van and the devastation caused by the crash.

He instantly called in the accident to police.

Further reading:

Another passenger van crash leaves seven dead, four seriously injured on Thailand’s chaotic roads