THE DRIVER of a six-wheel pick-up truck converted into a school bus that overturned in Nakhon Phanom this morning (July 5) leading to two students being seriously injured was later charged with reckless driving, Sanook.com said.
The accident occured at Ban Phueng subdistrict, Mueang Nakhon Phanom district, as the driver, Mr. Lamyai Somi, 60, was taking 30 students to school, The two of them who were seriously injured and rushed to Nakhon Phanom Hospital while the other 28 students suffered minor injuries.
Lamyai, who broke his right arm, confirmed that he had not dosed off with the accident being a result of brake failure.
A sedan carrying Mrs. Taliwan Srichuen, 40, a kindergarten teacher, was also hit while waiting to make a U-turn at this same spot with the driver being slightly injured.
Pol. Lt. Col. Mongkol Yoswilas, a deputy inspector at Muang Nakhon Phanom police station, said Lamyai was charged with reckless driving after an investigation showed that the vehicle’s brakes had worn out making it impossible for him to control it.
Moreover this vehicle is also at least 10-15 years old and police are checking it in detail and implementing measures to prevent a recurrence of this accident.
Meanwhile Ms. Patchara Wattanakul, 54, the manager of the Central Motor Victims Protection Co. Ltd. said the school bus was covered with compulsory automobile insurance and each victim will be paid a maximum 30,000 baht for medical treatment. In case of death the payout is maximum 500,000 baht . The company is awaiting the outcome of the investigation as to whose fault it was.
Mrs Praphai, 48, a local resident said this school bus usually stops to pick up her daughter everyday but this morning it zipped past her shop very fast without halting.
She also saw that the driver was struggling to steer the school bus to a four-lane road at the T-junction but failed to do so and flipped over at this dangerous curve where there had been many accidents.
She urged the authorities to take action to prevent more accidents at this spot.
The school bus that overturned this morning. Photos: Sanook.com