Police Captain Channarong Pakrongkeua of Karon Police Station has ordered medical tests on the body of the Austrian man who died and the passenger van driver as a police investigation continues into the fatal accident.
An elderly Austrian man became the latest foreigner to die riding a motorbike on Thailand’s roads on Tuesday night, in Phuket. Police said that the 77-year-old man was travelling with a 29-year-old female companion from Karon to Kathu when he hit a passenger van head-on after drifting to the wrong side of the road on a bend.
The driver of a Phuket passenger van, which collided head-on into a motorbike, ridden by a 77-year-old Austrian, on Tuesday evening at 7.30 pm approximately, told police at the scene that he could not have avoided the crash.
The Austrian man riding a Honda motorbike was found at the scene in an immobile, injured and unconscious state by rescuers.
His pillion passenger, named as 29-year-old Kannika Surat, from Sakon Nakhon province, was also unresponsive as rescue workers prepared both for emergency evacuation.
Austrian died on his way to Chalong Hospital
The Austrian, who has not been named pending communication of news of the accident to his family by police, died shortly afterwards, on the way to the emergency ward being pronounced dead on arrival at Chalong Hospital
Captain Channarong Pakrongkeua of Karon Police station attended the scene.
He said that the red Honda motorbike ridden by the Austrian national was registered in Chumphon province and that the man had been travelling from Karon towards Kata Beach on the west coast of Phuket when the tragedy occurred.
Austrian failed to control motorbike as it rounded a corner according to the passenger van driver
Ms Kannika was riding pillion on the back.
It appeared, from an initial analysis of the evidence, that the elderly Austrian had allowed his motorbike to ride over onto the right-hand lane as he came around the corner and was confronted by the Toyota passenger van as it was parking.
Alcohol checks ordered by police investigators
The senior officer said that police have given instructions to doctors to carry out alcohol checks on both the driver of the yellow plated van, named as Mr Wirat Buapri, and the body of the deceased man.
Mr Wirat had initially waited for police and rescuers to arrive on the horrific scene on the Patak Road in Phuket near a popular gold shop.
A police investigation into the crash is underway.
Intact bike and two bodies on the ground
Officers and rescuers, arriving on Tuesday, found Mr Wirat’s van extensively damaged in the front and an intact motorbike on the road metres away with two lifeless bodies.
The terrifying death toll of foreigners on motorbikes in Thailand appears to continue to tick speedily upwards despite the lack of tourists this year since the end of March.
38-year-old Swede died on July 18th last
On July 18th last, in the early hours of the morning, 38-year-old Swede, Tommi Nilson, succumbed to his injuries on his way to hospital after crashing his motorbike at speed into another bike after swerving to avoid a car parked at the side of the road in the Bang Lamung district of Chonburi in Pattaya.
Mr Nilson was thrown from his bike sending him sliding across the road for a distance and suffering fatal injuries.