GPS guides pickup driver into canal, 5 swim to safety

GPS guides pickup driver into canal, 5 swim to safety

This pickup truck plunged into the canal while using a U-turn beneath the bridge, in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima, on Thursday night. The driver had followed GPS directions. All five people onboard were safe. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)
This pickup truck plunged into the canal while using a U-turn beneath the bridge, in Muang district of Nakhon Ratchasima, on Thursday night. The driver had followed GPS directions. All five people onboard were safe. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: A man following GPS directions on his phone drove his pickup into a canal on Thursday night, but he and his four passengers were fortunately unscathed.

The vehicle's plunge into the water was reported about 8.30pm, and sent police and rescue workers rushing to Lam Boribun canal under a bridge in tambon Talard of Muang district.

They found a black Vigo pickup truck nose-down in the canal and five people shocked, but safe, on the shore, said Pol Lt Prasopchai Ngamlom, duty officer at Jor Hor. 

The driver, Manon Chanidnok, 39, said he and his relatives were returning to Kaeng Sanam Nang district after attending a housewarming at a friend’s place in Muang district.

It was dark and he was not familiar with road, so he used the GPS system on his mobile phone for directions.

At the U-turn beneath the bridge, the GPS system instructed him to go straight ahead. He followed the directions, and the vehicle plunged down a bank and nose first into the canal.

He and his four passengers quickly opened the doors and made their way onto the canalside. Luckily, nobody was hurt, Mr Manon said.

Rescue workers towed the plckup from the canal to a garage for repairs to the damaged front section.

In November last year, a young man drowned after his SUV plunged into the Chao Phraya River at a U-turn under a bridge in Nakhon Sawan.

Thai media reported that Teerapat Teerawongpaiboon, 27, was returning from his girlfriend's birthday party on the night of Nov 5 and was also relying on a GPS for directions home.

He also took a U-turn underneath a bridge, in tambon Klang Daed in Muang district. Teerapat's vehicle went through an opening in the barrier and into the swiftly flowing river. His dead body was found three days later.

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