Speeding pickup kills Chinese tourist on zebra crossing

Speeding pickup kills Chinese tourist on zebra crossing

Manhunt under way for Cambodian driver after pickup with fake plates found at Samut Prakan construction firm

A 67-year-old Chinese tourist is seen in a zebra crossing in Bang Bo district of Samut Prakan, where a pickup truck with fake plates and a siren light struck him on Friday night. (Photo: FM91 Trafficpro Facebook)
A 67-year-old Chinese tourist is seen in a zebra crossing in Bang Bo district of Samut Prakan, where a pickup truck with fake plates and a siren light struck him on Friday night. (Photo: FM91 Trafficpro Facebook)

A Chinese tourist was killed after being hit by a speeding pickup truck on a zebra crossing in Bang Bo district of Samut Prakan province on Friday night, the first day he arrived in Thailand.

Police are searching for a 35-year-old Cambodian man who was believed to have been driving the vehicle and failed to stop. A search of his apartment indicated he may have fled, and personnel at border checkpoints have been alerted.

The fatal crash occurred in front of a hotel near Soi Navamin 4 off Bang Na Garden Road, said Pol Lt Pongmetha Charot, deputy investigation chief at the Bang Bo station. The incident was reported around 10pm.

Police, medical personnel and rescue workers rushing to the scene found a 67-year-old Chinese man lying unconscious on the road with serious injuries. Medics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him but could not save him. His name was withheld pending family notification.

A tourist police patrol happened to be in the area when the incident occurred and they noted the licence plate number of the black Toyota pickup truck. The vehicle, equipped with a siren light on its roof, fled the scene at high speed.

A subsequent check found that the licence plate number was fake.

Security video from in front of the hotel showed the moment when the tourist, walking on the zebra crossing, was struck by the speeding pickup. The impact propelled his body nearly 100 metres. Other Chinese tourists and hotel security guards rushed to help him as the vehicle fled.

Kittithara Arjor, a tour guide accompanying the Chinese tour group, said they had just arrived in Thailand earlier that day. The incident occurred as the victim, having left a nearby 7-Eleven store, was crossing the road to return to his hotel room, said the tour guide.

Pol Lt Pongmethas said the body of the victim was sent to Ramathibodhi Chakri Naruebodindra Hospital in Samut Prakan for a post-mortem examination.

Police are also coordinating with the Chinese embassy and a centre to help Chinese tourists in Thailand. (Story continues below)

Medics perform CPR on the injured Chinese tourist after he was being hit by a pickup truck on Friday night in Bang Bo district of Samut Prakan. He was later pronounced dead. (Photo: FM91 Trafficpro Facebook)

Later on Saturday morning, authorities found the pickup parked at Prayot Karnyotha Co, a construction firm in tambon Bang Poo of Muang district in Samut Prakan. The front section of the vehicle was damaged and its siren light removed.

The vehicle registration indicated it was owned by a woman, whose name was withheld. When police brought her to the Bang Bo station for questioning, she told them she had sold it to a Cambodian who worked at the firm several months ago. However, the transfer had not yet been made.

Forensic officers collected fingerprints from the vehicle, which matched those of a Cambodian man identified only as Thon, 35.

Investigators later searched the driver’s apartment but it appeared that he and his wife had fled with their belongings on Friday night, said Pol Col Chairat Rungruang, chief of the Bang Bo station.

Investigators are coordinating with officials manning border checkpoints as the man was expected to try to flee the country. Police are also reaching out to relatives of Mr Thon to persuade him to surrender.

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