Road blockaded after 2 die in smash
PHUKET: About 100 enraged villagers of Moo 1 Pa Khlok, east of the Heroines Monument, blocked the road in front of the Pakcheed Mosque yesterday evening (April 13) after two villagers were killed in a road accident.
Saturday 14 April 2012, 11:51AM
The two dead were identified as Pairoj Wisetsombat, 55, and Lamyong Dujpayak, 45.
Reportedly riding without a rear light, they were rammed from behind by a speeding pickup truck.
The two died instantly in the smash. The heavily damaged pick-up, out of control, slid off the road, colliding with a building and turning on its side.
Initially the blockade was sparked by fury at staff of the Kusoldharm Rescue Foundation, whom villagers blamed for siding with the pickup driver, helping him to flee rough justice at the hands of the villagers.
Rescue staff said they arrived at the scene at about 7:30pm to take the two bodies to Thalang Hospital.
The pickup driver, who had been struggling to escape the mob, jumped into their vehicle. The villagers, angry that the rescue staff had “chosen” the welfare of the driver over the two dead people, blocked the road to prevent their escape.
Finally, the Kusoldharm driver managed to nudge his way through the mob and get away, while Thalang Police, the Mayor of Pa Khlok and Vice-Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada rushed to the scene to try to damp down the tension.
The blockaders then turned their fury away from the rescue team, instead voicing frustration at the lack of street lights along the road, which the villagers said put their community at risk from road accidents.
At about 8.45pm, after V/G Chamroen promised he would urge the Highways Department to install lighting along the road as a matter of urgency, the villagers agreed to end their blockade.
Later, the villagers carried the two bodies to Thalang Hospital.
This is not the first time people along the road through Pa Khlok have protested at the lack of lighting. In July last year ago 300 villagers blocked a different section of the road and burned tyres in protest after another villager died in a smash.
That blockade was resolved after promises were made that lighting would be installed within a couple of weeks. It was, but not stretching as far as the section of road that saw last night’s deaths.