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Russian woman seriously injured in Chalong Underpass motorbike accident

Russian woman seriously injured in Chalong Underpass motorbike accident

PHUKET: A Russian woman is in serious condition at Vachira Phuket Hospital after a motorbike accident inside the Chalong Underpass on Friday evening (Sept 20)

By The Phuket News

Monday 23 September 2019, 06:35PM

Rescue workers attend to 35-year-old Russian national Olesia Mailian as police look on. Photo: Chalong Police

Rescue workers attend to 35-year-old Russian national Olesia Mailian as police look on. Photo: Chalong Police

Capt Thanakrit Amchonkham of the Chalong Traffic Police told The Phuket News today (Sept 23) that he was informed of the accident at about 5:50pm on Friday.

“I think she was riding the motorbike northbound when she misjudged the curve inside the underpass and hit with kerb on the opposite side of the road,” he said.

“When we arrived she was lying on the road. There was a lot of blood. She was still alive and still consciousness. She said she was in a lot of pain,” he added.

“But her condition is very serious case with many injuries. She suffered three distinct wounds to her head and forehead. She also suffered a broken pelvis, seven broken ribs and a broken arm,” Capt Thanakrit said.

However, Capt Thanakrit declined to answer any further questions, explaining that Lt Col Prasit Ra-ob of the Chalong Police was now the officer responsible for investigating the incident.

Lt Col Prasit identified the woman as 35-year-old Russian national Olesia Mailian, from Leningrad (currently Saint Petersburg).

“I went to see her at hospital. She is in serious condition, but thankfully not in critical condition,” he said.

Lt Col Prasit explained that he had asked Ms Mailian what had happened in the tunnel, but noted, “I asked, but she is unable to talk at length about anything at the scene. I went to the hospital with a Russian translator, but she really could not to talk about or explain the accident.

“At this stage I am waiting for her to get better before asking her more in-depth questions,” he said.

Lt Col Prasit said that he was not even sure whether Ms Mailian was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, “I have spoken Traffic Police who were at the scene, but I still do not know yet,” he said.

Lt Col Prasit did note that he had asked doctors to confirm Ms Mailian’s blood-alcohol levels, but said that he had yet to receive the results of the tests.

At the time The Phuket News called today, officers had not even checked any CCTV footage available in the hope of determining what had caused the accident.

“I have not checked about CCTV yet. I just requested my colleagues to contact officials for CCTV footage from inside and outside the tunnel today (Sept 23),” Lt Col Prasit said.

Amazingly, Col Prasit also noted that police had yet to identify any witnesses to the accident, which occurred during Friday evening rush hour in a tunnel that took more than three years and 11 months to build at a cost of B546 million specifically to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

Such was the occasion for opening the underpass that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha flew down from Bangkok to officiate its formal opening. (See story here.)

“There were no witnesses at the scene. Traffic Police were the only ones there when they arrived,” Lt Col Prasit said.

“All I have at this stage to determine the cause of the accident are the scrape marks from the motorbike on the road and damage to orange barrier poles that separate the lanes,” he added.

In short, at this stage police have no idea if another vehicle was involved, Lt Col Prasit admitted.

“I don’t know. All I have is the report from Traffic Police. They said said that she fell by herself, that there were no other vehicles involved in this accident, but our investigation is not finished yet,” he said.

Once recovered from her injuries, Ms Mailian will be charged for reckless driving, damaging government property (the orange separator poles) and with riding a motorbike through the underpass, Col Prasit confirmed.

“She will be charged, but the fine will depend on the outcome of the investigation,” he said.

Following the accident, Chalong Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Chana Suthimat urged motorbike riders to not ride through the underpass.

“This is not first accident in the Chalong Underpass, and luckily this accident did not result in death,” he told The Phuket News.

“I want people to exercise discipline when driving on the road and obey the traffic laws. There are warning signs telling riders that motorbikes must not enter any underpass. It is banned.

“Meanwhile, I urge car drivers to please drive slowly through the underpass because there is a bend in the tunnel,” he added.

“We have not yet had a death from a road accident in the underpass, but there have been a lot of accidents, so please be careful,” Lt Col Chana said.

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GregoryJCS | 25 September 2019 - 08:52:40

No sympathy for those that willingly break the law. All underpasses in Phuket are marked no motorbikes or salangs to use but every day the signs are ignored by people that don't care about what is right or wrong, only about what they want to do. Russians are as bad as locals when it comes to obeying laws of any kind. See it every day too.

Nasa12 | 24 September 2019 - 15:02:57

BigA you have 100% right, only about money in the pocket for Chalong Police. 

Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 12:23:32

Accident happened on Friday afternoon. Still on Monday the police  is in the .."I don't know mode"...  Even a Colonel who spoke with the traffic police officers at the scene can't say or there was a helmet found. What about did this Col talk than with these officers?  And,  urging slow driving doesn't work on Phuket. Colonels know that?

Kurt | 24 September 2019 - 12:15:39

No witnesses at 05:50 PM? Impossible. Witnesses just flew away ( not want to be 'involved').  Col Chana mentioned twice about a lot of accidents in Chalong Underpass. Finally we hear this! Until now I was puzzled how it would be possible that there were since opening no accidents. ( not reported). Now we know better. Officials were hiding this for the public..(?)

BigA | 24 September 2019 - 07:49:25

She should not be there in the first place .Motorbike's are not to use the Underpass.At least from the Rawai side !This sign is so clever mounted that you only can see it when you actually already entering the tunnel and can't go back! But  police like it ,only have to wait on the other side and collect

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