Officers from the Thalang Police along with rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation were called to the scene, on the Don Jom Tao Rd (Route 4030) in Tambon Thepkrasattri, Thalang, at 6:30am.
When officers arrived they found the white Fortuner buried in undergrowth after hitting a power pole after ploughing its way through shrubs from the roadside.
The front of the car had sustained heavy damage from hitting the power pole, but no people were in the vehicle, and no bystanders at the scene presented themselves as the driver.
“The car was heading from Cherng Talay to the Thalang intersection when it appears the driver lost control on the curve, perhaps from falling asleep at the wheel,” said Capt Eakkasak Kwanwan of the Thalang Police.
“We will investigate this further and track down the driver. Meanwhile, the vehicle will be removed from the scene and taken to Thalang Police Station,” Capt Eakkasak added.
UPDATE: Capt Eakkasak Kwanwan of the Thalang Police told The Phuket News on Tuesday (June 5), “The owner of the Fortuner called me yesterday, but he has yet to present himself at the police station in person.
"When he does, he will be charged with reckless driving causing damage to public property. In the meantime, his white Fortuner has been impounded at Thalang Police Station,” he added.
Asked whether the driver, who remains unnamed by police, will be charged for fleeing the scene of the accident, hence making him or herself unavailable for alcohol and drug testing immediately after the accident, all Capt Eakkasak would say is, “I have not decided on that yet.”
Of note, Section 78 of the Road Traffic Act stipulates, “Any person who drives a conveyance or rides or controls an animal and thereby causes damage to other person or property of other person, notwithstanding that it is the fault of the driver or rider or controller of animal or not, must stop conveyance or animal and render assistance as appropriate, as well as present himself or herself before the nearby competent official and inform about the accident without delay, and must also give his or her name, surname, and address and conveyance registration number to the person who suffers damage.
“In the case where the driver or rider or controller of animal escapes and avoids presenting himself or herself before the competent official at the scene of the accident, he or she shall be presumed to be guilty of the offence.”
Further, Section 160 of the Road Traffic Act commands, “Any person who fails to comply with Section 78 shall be liable to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine from two thousand Baht to ten thousand Baht, or to both.
“If the failure to comply with section 78 causes serious injury or death to other person, the offender shall be liable to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, and to a fine from five thousand Baht to twenty thousand Baht, or to both.”
To read the Road Traffic Act as posted by the Office of the Council of the State, click here.