Police investigating one accident in Phitsanulok, where two pickups collided on a main road, believe that one vehicle may have driven out of control after its driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Police in Phitsanulok and Chiang Rai provinces have opened two investigations following the early morning deaths of 5 people in separate road traffic accidents. In one horrific incident, four young men, all in their twenties, died after being hurled from a pickup truck at a dangerous bend when the vehicle they were travelling in, collided with a sedan car which had tried to overtake it on the road.
In the early hours of Monday morning, police and rescue services responded to two fatal road traffic accidents which saw a total of five people killed with five injured. Both incidents occurred in northern Thailand, one in Chiang Rai and the other in Phitsanulok.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Chuchat Phuwanjinda of Ban Du police station in Chiang Rai received a call to attend an accident which had occurred at a dangerous curve on the Phaholyothin Road.
Bodies of 4 young men found at the scene
The bodies of four young men were found at the scene. They were reported to have been crushed following a sequence of events when two vehicles lost control as a sedan car attempted to overtake a Mitsubishi pickup truck at a dangerous bend.
The incident saw the car overturned and it was thrown over the edge. It first impacted the pickup truck. This caused the pickup truck also to lose its grip on the road and also fall over the edge.
The four occupants of the pickup were thrown out to their deaths.
They were named by police as 24-year-old Panuwat Wanthong of Sisaket province, 27-year-old Sommanat Phomsen of Prachinburi province, 26-year-old Seksan Kaewloi of Sisaket province and 20-year-old Saphaya Thonsin from Nong Khai province.
Driver of pickup, owner of the sedan and two young women from Chaing Rai found injured
The driver of the pickup truck, named as Mr Thanaphat Pulsit was taken to hospital for treatment.
Police revealed the owner of the sedan car as 56-year-old Mr Jetsarit Thetthisit from Chiang Rai and two women named as Miss Namphung Chongkhuang and Miss Jenjira Srivichai also from Chiang Rai, both 21 years old.
Accident in Phitsanulok involved two Toyota pickups carrying merchandise overnight on Highway 11
Meanwhile at 3.40 am, Police Lieutenant Colonel Rangsan Ondee of Phrom Phiram Police Station in Phitsanulok was called to another fatal collision which had occurred between two pickup trucks carrying merchandise overnight.
The police officer was accompanied by a doctor from Phrom Phiram Hospital and a rescue team from the Prasart Bunasathan Foundation.
The accident occurred on Highway 11 or the Phitsanulok-Uttaradit Road in the west of the northern province.
White Toyota Vigo driving on the wrong side
It is understood that both pickups, a white Toyota Revo model and bronze Toyota Vigo, collided after the Revo crossed over into the wrong side of the road.
Police found the driver of the Toyota Revo had been carrying crates of longan heading for Lamphun province.
He was seriously injured but still alive while they found the body of the driver of the Toyota Vigo, which was carrying a cargo of eggs, dead while his body was still trapped in the vehicle.
Hydraulic lift gear used to extract the injured man from wreckage and body of the deceased driver
A vehicle with hydraulic lift gear was used to break into the cabin of both vehicles and rescue the injured man.
He was sent to Wat Bot hospital for emergency treatment while the deceased was sent to Phrom Phiram Hospital for a preliminary autopsy for the police investigation.
Police named the injured man as 25-year-old Chan Narong Jaisuk from the Thoeng district of Chiang Rai while the man who died at the scene was named as 50-year-old Won Surin from Bang Rakam in Phitsanulok province
Police suspect driver may have fallen asleep
Police revealed that their initial enquiries suggest that Mr Chan Narong may have fallen asleep as he had been driving over a long distance.
However, police have opened investigations into both accidents to determine their exact cause and whether legal proceedings should follow.