Poolwit Ruengdech, a Thai Airways captain, is lucky to be alive after a routine trip to the airport became a frightening escape from an angry gunman.
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Road rage near Suvarnabhumi
Poolwit Ruengdech, a Thai Airways captain, shows the bandaged wound from a gunshot fired at him on the motorway near Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday night.
Thai Airways flight captain, Poolwit Ruengdech, was on a routine trip to Suvarnabhumi airport Wednesday night when suddenly his trip became anything but routine.
As he neared the airport, Mr Poolwit, 53, who was scheduled to pilot a flight to Athens that night, noticed that a white Toyota Fortuner had come up behind his BMW.
The Fortuner's lights were on high beam and were so bright he could not see the vehicle's reflection in his rear-view mirror.
Mr Poolwit moved into the left lane to allow the Fortuner to overtake him and flashed his headlights to alert the driver that his headlights were too bright.
That should have been the end of the incident, but it wasn’t
Soon afterwards, Mr Poolwit overtook the Fortuner because he was in a hurry to get to the airport.
Police said the Fortuner tailgated him, flashed its headlights repeatedly and then drove to the left side of his car.
The pilot said a red beam from what appeared to be a laser-guided firearm was aimed at him.
The Fortuner then slowed down and tucked in behind his car.
Mr Poolwit said he heard multiple gunshots.
His car windows were shattered and a shot hit him in the left shoulder.
"The driver came after me and fired at least seven more shots," Mr Poolwit told police.
He said he tried to evade the Fortuner which continued to follow him. He made a quick decision to pull off the motorway and drove to the aviation operations centre at the Suvarnabhumi airport to find help.
Pol Col Thienchai Kamapaso, superintendent of Prawet police station, said the road rage almost certainly was provoked by the flashing of Mr Poolwit's headlights.
Pol Col Anat Kledmanee, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Division 4, said the Fortuner headed in the direction of Chon Buri after the shots were fired.
He said it would be difficult to trace the Fortuner as it carried a red licence plate, the temporary plate fitted to new cars before they are registered with the Land Transport Department.
Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.
rage – extreme anger ความเดือดดาล
road rage – a situation in which a driver becomes extremely angry or violent with the driver of another car because of the way they are driving
wound – an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged บาดแผล
routine – ordinary and not interesting or special; usual and not done for any special reason ตามปกติ
anything but – the opposite of completely different ตรงกันข้าม
scheduled – planned to happen at a particular time or day ตามตารางเวลา
pilot – to fly an aircraft (or guide a ship); to act as a pilot ขับเครื่องบิน
(head)lights – the large lights at the front of a vehicle; the beam from this light ไฟหน้าของยานพาหนะ
high-beam – the highest level of lighting for automobile headlights
reflection – an image in a mirror, on a shiny surface, on water, etc ภาพสะท้อน
rear-view mirror – a mirror in which a driver can see the traffic behind
overtake – to go past a moving vehicle or person ahead of you because you are going faster than they are ผ่านพาหนะอื่น,ไล่แซง, ตามทัน
flash – to use a light to give somebody a signal, especially by quickly turning it on and off ส่งแสงแลบ
alert – to tell someone in authority about a danger or problem so that they can take action to deal with it เตือนภัย
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
tailgate – to drive too closely behind another vehicle
repeatedly – happening, said or done many times อย่างซ้ำๆ
beam – a line of radiation or particles flowing in one direction ลำแสง
firearm – a gun of some type อาวุธปืน
aim – to point a gun or an object you are throwing at something that you want to hit เล็ง
tuck in – to move in very closely behind something
multiple – many มากมาย
shatter – to break into many pieces แตกกระจาย
shoulder – one of the two parts of your body between your neck and the top of your arms ไหล่
evade – to avoid or escape from someone or something หลีกเลี่ยง
aviation – the flying of aircraft การบิน
operations – the activity or work done in an area of business or industry ปฎิบัติการ
superintendent – a senior police officer เจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจระดับสูง
provoke – to cause a reaction ก่อให้เกิด
deputy – a person who is given the power to do something instead of another person, or the person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง, ตัวแทน,ผู้รักษาการแทน
metropolitan police – the police in responsible for a city ตำรวจนครบาล
head – to go in a particular direction มุ่งหน้าไปทาง
trace – to follow the evidence to find out something ตามรอย ตามทาง
licence plate – a flat piece of metal or plastic on the front and back of a vehicle that shows its license number แผ่นป้ายทะเบียนรถยนต์
temporary – for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว