Phuket Gazette

PHRAE: Given the madness and mayhem that afflict Thai roads, it’s only natural that people want to spend as much time as possible in the safety of their homes. But a recent tragedy in Phrae province shows that even being at home in front of the TV is no guarantee of safety from drunk drivers. At about midnight on August 9, a Toyota Tiger pickup driven by a local politician slammed into a roadside repair shop along Rongkwaan-Ngaaw Rd in tambon Daenchumpol, killing one man and critically injuring two others. All three were mechanics who lived and worked at the shop and who were watching TV when the pickup smashed through the wall of their living room. One, 36-year-old Som Kadsomneuk, died instantly. The two survivors were rushed to Phrae Hospital. When police arrived, they found the Tiger lodged inside what what was left of the building, along with Ban Klaang OrBorTor president Sompol Ongkham, 49, who was waiting to turn himself in to the police. He told the arresting officers that he had been to a provincial sports competition, after which he had gone drinking and celebrating with friends before driving home. He admitted to driving at high speed, hitting a utility pole and ploughing into the shop. He was taken into custody.

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