Late-night year-end party blamed for crash

Late-night year-end party blamed for crash

The pickup truck after it crashed into a power pole, toppling it and about 10 others,   on Sukhumvit Road in Muang district of Samut Prakan on Friday. (Photo by Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)
The pickup truck after it crashed into a power pole, toppling it and about 10 others, on Sukhumvit Road in Muang district of Samut Prakan on Friday. (Photo by Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)

SAMUT PRAKAN: A woman driver who crashed her car into a power pole, causing a string of accidents, had been at a year-end party the previous night and had little sleep, according to relatives and police.

Siriprapha Photmoo, the 25-year-old driver, remained unconscious in Samut Prakan Hospital over the weekend, as anxious relatives watched over her.

On Friday she crashed her pickup truck into a roadside power pole on Sukhumvit Road in tambon Bang Poo of Muang district.

The pole fell to the ground, dragging  about 10 other poles down with it, and blacking out a large area. Some of the poles hit other vehicles and injured people. 

The resulting traffic snarl-up stretched back along 10 kilometres of the road.

"My friends and I were sleeping. My elder sister Siriprapha was the driver... I woke up after the accident... I think the driver dozed off," said Jariya Pinchaeng, 23, who suffered a cut face and chest pains.

Ms Siriprapha was driving a brown Toyota Vigo pickup truck, taking her and four passengers back home to Pak Nam district after visiting Ms Siriprapha's boyfriend at Khlong Dan prison on Friday morning.

The driver's mother, Wichuda Morakot, 44, said her daughter may have dozed off at the wheel. She had been at a year-end party late into Thursday night and left home about 6am on Friday.

Mrs Wichuda said she was aware of the considerable damage caused by the accident. Their family was poor and jobless, and could not afford even the vehicle's annual tax and compulsory insurance. However, they would do their best to pay compensation, .

"I am sorry about what happened. No one would wish it to happen. I am speechless, knowing well that my child was in the wrong," she said.

Mrs Wichuda said Ms Siriprapha suffered severe internal injuries and bleeding as a result of the crash, and not just the swollen face and bruises that were clearly evident. 

Pol Col Pisut Chantarasuwan, chief of  Bang Poo police, said the driver and passengers in the pickup  were on their way home from Khlong Dan prison. The passengers were all aseep.

Camera footage showed the vehicle failed to slow down on a curve and ran straight ahead and up onto the footpath. "This together with witness accounts indicates the driver possibly dozed off," he said.

A doctor believed the driver would be ready for questioning in a week. She would be charged with reckless driving causing injuries and damage, and driving a vehicle with expired registration and without compulsory insurance, Pol Col Pisut said.

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