AYUTTHAYA: A young French woman was killed when a car hit her bicycle at an intersection in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district on Wednesday night.
The fatal crash occurred on Rojana Road at Khlong Makhamriang intersection in tambon Prathuchai, said Pol Capt Wirunkit Tantrakul, deputy investigation chief at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. It was reported to police about 9pm.
Emergency services called to the scene said the French tourist, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was found lying face down on the road. She was badly injured and bleeding heavily. She was given first aid and then rushed to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
A damaged bicycle was found on the road. Not far from it was a Toyota Altis car with Ayutthaya licence plates, its bumper damaged on the left side and the windshield broken, Thai media reported.
Car driver Sathapana Khumsupha, 42, told police he was driving home from work. As he approached the intersection the traffic light turned from red to green, so he continued on. Two people on bicycles crossed from his left to the road divider. He braked but could not stop in time and hit one of them, Mr Sathapana said.
He regretted the accident and apologised to the dead woman's family.
A 34-year-old American woman who was riding the second bicycle said she had met the French woman in Bangkok and they had decided to visit Ayutthaya together. On Wednesday, they left their guesthouse and rented bicycles to visit historical places and temples. They later had dinner and were returning to their guesthouse.
On arriving at the intersection, she noticed the traffic lights were red with vehicles waiting on both sides of the road. She and her friend then turned their bicycles to cross the road. A car hit her friend’s bike.
Police took the cyclist's body to Thammasat University Hospital for post-mortem examination. The embassy was notifying her family. The car driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death.
The government has set a goal of slashing road fatalities by almost two-thirds within five years, although it admits the effort could be hampered by a lack of public cooperation.
The goal was confirmed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at an academic seminar in Bangkok on Wednesday.
Road safety has been prioritised in the 20-year national strategy. The goal is to cut fatalities from traffic accidents to 12 persons per 100,000 population by 2027 and achieve the Vision Zero target by 2050.