Thalang Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Phichai Phupommin reported that the accident occurred in front of PTT gas station on the southbound of Thepkrasattri Rd in Moo 5, Thepkrasattri, at about 2am today (Nov 15).
When police arrived at the scene, rescue workers had already taken the three tourists to Thalang Hospital, Lt Col Phichai said.
The tourists escaped with only minor injuries, he added.
At the scene when officers arrived was a grey passenger van on its side with heavy damage to its front, Lt Col Phichai noted.
On the central reservation nearby was a Phuket-registered Honda sedan, with heavy damage to every panel, including the roof, he said.
The two men in the car – driver Thirapon Thirinkornpong and his passenger Athit Prayunphokarat – had also been taken to hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident, he added.
Lt Col Phichai this afternoon confirmed that the two men already had been transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town, but was unable to confirm what injuries the men had suffered.
Van driver Siripong Kleungkin, 47, said that he was driving behind the Honda sedan when the car went “out of control” and struck the central reservation, Lt Col Phichai reported.
Mr Siripong said that he was unable to avoid colliding with the car, which has sustained a direct impact from rear. After coming to rest, the car was left with its bonnet ripped off, a heavy impact to its rear right panel, another heavy impact to its front passenger door and a crumpled roof.
Lt Col Phichai in declining to offer any further observations than those included in his initial report was unable to explain whether the car had rolled after the van had struck it from behind.
Lt Col Phichai did confirm that Mr Siripong would be subjected to an alcohol test, the result of which has yet to become available.
Lt Col Phichai made no mention of whether police would investigate the speed at which the van was travelling at or how close behind the car the van was immediately before the accident.
The accident this morning involving a transport driver picking up tourists from the airport follows Thalang Police taking more than a year to bring a charge of reckless driving causing death against airport taxi driver Marut Puangbanjong for his high-speed wipeout in October last year.
It took the investigating officer from Thalang Police more than a year to present to the public Marut’s real name, saying that for the past year of investigating the accident he had “confused the wrong family name with another case”. (See story here.)