The tragedy played out in the early hours of Friday morning leaving a popular police volunteer dead, a young man facing a murder charge and another man wounded. It followed an accident in which a Hilux pickup truck, driven by a drunk driver, overturned near a well known shop.

A tragedy caused by the intake of excess alcohol played out on the side of the Sukhumvit Road in the Sattahip district of Chonburi on Friday morning when a young soldier overturned his pickup truck and apparently hallucinating, shot dead a diligent volunteer policeman who tried to come to his rescue at the scene of the accident.

A 23-year-old soldier from Trang province has been charged by police in Sattahip, Chonburi with murder following the tragic death of a police volunteer in the early hours of Friday morning.

23-year-old Sutthina Wuttichai gave evidence to police at the scene of the vehicle accident and subsequent tragedy in the early hours of Friday morning. Also (inset centre) a photo of 33-year-old Mr Rittirong Yasawut, a volunteer policeman who was killed in a hail of bullets by the man he was attempting to rescue, 23-year-old Mr Jirat Kanyanyu, whose grey Hilux pickup truck had overturned (top left). Ms Sutthina can also be seen tending to her semi-conscious boyfriend, Mr Jirat, at the scene.

The victim, 33-year-old Mr Rittirong Yasawut, was an enthusiastic and popular police volunteer who often responded to calls for assistance at accidents or emergencies, of his own volition, to assist his colleagues on patrol.

Mr Rittirong normally was employed handling administrative tasks and driving police officers.

Policeman responded to radio reports of the accident

However, on Friday morning, hearing of the motor accident adjacent to the Nong Khai Labab Koi shop, on the Sukhumvit inbound road in Plutaluang, he responded to the incident on his motorbike.

It was not long before he was rushing under the vehicle’s cab to help a drunken soldier escape from the overturned grey Hilux pickup truck.

The trapped man was 23-year-old Mr Jirat Kanyanyu whose girlfriend had already managed to get out from under the truck and had approached the shop making a phone call to request assistance from her family and friends.

Mr Jirat’s girlfriend, 23-year-old Sutthina Wuttichai, confirmed to police officers that her boyfriend was intoxicated while driving the truck. The couple had been coming from a drinking session with family on Thursday night when the accident happened.

Heard shots fired and turned around

As Ms Sutthina was on the phone summoning help, she heard shots and turned around. The police officer had been shot multiple times in the abdomen, chest and right arm. 

He was lying inert in a pool of blood. The owner of the shop, 49-year-old Mr Adul Chansaeng, was also hit in the burst of gunfire. He had been wounded in his right arm and was nursing the wound.

Police and local rescue services quickly arrived on the scene to witness the horror of the incident. Rescuers then removed the perpetrator of the shooting including Mr Adul to Somdej Phranangchaosirikit Hospital.

CPR was administered to the volunteer policeman at the site and he was also taken to hospital but he died shortly afterwards from his injuries.

Police chief from local station briefed the press

Police Colonel Wuthipong Somchai of Plutaluang Police Station, where the deceased officer served earnestly, was at the accident and crime scene where an investigation was commenced and overseen by the senior officer.

Police are reported to have recovered 5 spent shell casings near the overturned vehicle as well as a firearm and ammunition.

‘We had been informed of a car accident has been overturned. There were injured at the scene. The deceased officer, who was a home police volunteer, heard the incident over the radio. Therefore, as was his custom, he rode a motorcycle to go out to inspect and help others in the patrol deal with the situation,’ the police boss explained.

The young man paid for his service and good work with his life.

Officers believe that the pickup driver was suffering from severe hallucinations caused by an excess intake of alcohol prior to the accident

Police say that the 23-year-old soldier, Mr Jirat, was found at the site near the popular shop being tended to by his girlfriend.

He appeared oblivious to his surroundings and saliva could be seen dribbling from his mouth. He was semi-conscious.

Police believe that the man was heavily intoxicated and suffering from a strong hallucination when he mistook the police rescuer for an attacker of some sort and mortally wounded him as well as the shopkeeper who was a bystander.

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old has been charged with murder or the intentional killing of another person and will be prosecuted according to the law.

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