ACCIDENTS / NEW YEAR
Holiday road toll reaches 401
One passenger was killed and 22 others injured when a Bangkok-bound air-conditioned bus returning from the New Year holiday hit roadside stalls and overturned in Ayutthaya early yesterday morning. The bus driver, who fled after the accident, was seen talking on his mobile phone while driving.
Passenger Kanya Artbamrung said the bus had switched drivers before the accident.
The second driver who took over was making and receiving phone calls most of the time while driving.
The bus was also speeding and overtaking many vehicles.
She said the bus, which originated from the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, then hit roadside stalls between kilometre makers 66-67 in tambon Lamtasao in Ayutthaya's Wang Noi district at around 4am and overturned, killing one passenger identified as Sak Chaisunthorn, 47, from Surin province.
Twenty-two other passengers were injured, six seriously. They were rushed to Wang Noi and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya hospitals.
Police are searching for the driver.
Meanwhile, 401 people were killed in road accidents nationwide during the seven-day New Year period which officially ended yesterday, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department figures.
The department also reported 4,903 injuries from 4,475 road accidents during the period.