The 83-year-old man, identified as Waranon Leesakul, from Songkhla, was crushed by a truck and trailer that was travelling behind the taxi.
Capt Eakkasak Kwanwan of the Thalang Police and rescue workers were called to the scene, on Thepkrasattri Rd northbound, near Paknam seafood restaurant in Moo 1, Tambon Thepkrasattri, at 6:10am.
On arrival the officers found the remains of Mr Waranon’s body on the road.
Some 80 metres further down the road was the silver Toyota Camry Phuket-registered taxi with “Phuket International Airport” emblazoned on its door.
Its driver, Rungprasan Sriwhichai, 31, was standing by.
The windscreen of the taxi had a hole punched through it and the car’s bumper and bonnet was damaged.
Several other vehicles were still at the scene after colliding while their drivers attempted to avoid running over Mr Woranon’s body.
Rungprasarn was taken into custody and charged with reckless driving causing death.
Rungprasarn tested negative for alcohol, Capt Eakkasak noted in his report, which made no mention of what speed the taxi was travelling at when the incident occurred.
However, the report noted that the truck driver did not stop at the scene.
Officers are now tracking down the truck driver by checking CCTV in the area, though police at this stage have yet to determine if any charges would be brought against the driver, Capt Eakkasak explained.
The deadly accident involving a Phuket taxi driver this morning comes while formal charges against another taxi driver operating at Phuket International Airport have stalled after that driver – 23-year-old Marut Puangsombat – wiped out six vehicles and killed a motorbike driver during morning rush hour traffic on Thepkrasattri Rd in October.
A tourist was in that taxi when the accident happened at 8am, Oct 30, but escaped unharmed, and immediately returned to the airport to leave.
Marut was initially charged by police with reckless driving causing death, after the wipeout killed 40-year-old Phuket resident Anuson Rattanadilok Na Phuket, but since the announcement that Marut had been charged there has been no confirmation that the case has even been heard in court.
Praprai Sounkul, Chief Policy Specialist at the Phuket Land Transportation office (PLTO), confirmed to The Phuket News on Nov 21 that his office had not received any notification from Phuket Provincial Court informing whether Marut had been found guilty or not of the charge – and he confirmed that his office was powerless to take any action until the case had been heard in court.
“In a criminal case like this, the PLTO will revoke the taxi driver’s license, but only after we conduct our own review of the incident – and that will not happen unless the court finds him guilty,” he said. (See story here.)