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Korat Bus Crash Victims Saw Death Behind Wheel

Survivors screamed for sleepy driver to slow down, stop even as he nodded off

7 people were hurt and 40 injured when a tour bus collided with a tractor-trailer in Korat early Saturday. (Photo: Pattaya Mail, with permission.)
7 people were hurt and 40 injured when a tour bus collided with a tractor-trailer in Korat early Saturday. (Photo: Pattaya Mail, with permission.)

Survivors of Saturday morning’s deadly tour-bus crash in Korat described a terrifying hurdle down dark highways with a driver who put the pedal to the metal even while dozing off behind the wheel.

Seven village health volunteers from the Northeast Province of Roi-Et were killed and 40 others hurt in the collision with a tractor-trailer before 4 a.m. at the Chai Mongkhol bypass on Ratchasima-Pak Thong Chai Road Nakhon Ratchasima’s Muang District.

Five of the dead were identified as Pinit Kaensakho, 44; Phenchan Anuprai, Ekkaphol Singboran, Srisurat Krachangchan and Pitak Chamchong while two others identities were withheld pending notification of relatives.

The group of health volunteers was one of three coaches that were from Roi-Et’s from Chaturaphak Phiman District headed to Pattaya for a study trip.

The ill-fated bus, however, was late and driven by a fatigued, maniacal driver who refused pleas from passengers to slow down because he had to meet the two other buses in Prachin Buri’s Kabin Buri District.

Fearful passengers said they couldn’t sleep, fearing the eventual worst. The driver flew down dark highways at high speed and did not slow down as they reached the Korat intersection.

That left the bus no time to stop as a 22-wheeled big-rig fully loaded with casava roots rolled through the crossing. The bus slammed into the side of the massive trailer, smashing the front of the coach before it overturned, crushing several aboard.

It’s not known if the driver was one of those killed.

Photos supplied by the Pattaya Mail, a Bangkok Herald partner.