Patong Police were informed of the accident, on the final curve heading into Patong on Phra Baramee Rd, at about 5am.
Police and rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation arrived at the scene to find the red Phuket-registered tour bus, with Phiphairat Tour emblazoned on the side, stopped beside a roadside concrete wall, well known among passers-by for being heavily tagged with graffiti.
The bus had suffered heavy damage to its front right, with the driver’s door sheared off by the impact. The bus had felled the power pole before narrowly missing the wall. The impact also disabled a government CCTV camera.
The driver, 37-year-old Prayoon Nayao, had suffered serious injuries to his leg, with bone protruding from the wound.
Mr Prayoon was administered emergency first aid at the scene then rushed to Patong Hospital, which was where Mr Prayoon was driving to anyway.
The bus was one of three buses chartered to pick up nurses and other staff at Patong Hospital and take them to Khao Lak, explained “Mr Pan”, one of the drivers of the other buses.
The bus had travelled from Ao Makham, on the east coast of Phuket, he said.
Mr Pan attributed the accident to failure of the air brake system while the bus was descending the hill. The bus had been involved in accidents before, he said.
It was lucky that the bus was empty and that the only person injured was the driver, Mr Pan added. The other buses had already picked up their load of Patong Hospital officials and nursing staff, he said.
Maj Phacharathon Chan-iad of the Patong Police said that officers were continuing their investigation into the accident, as the accident had resulted in damage to government property.
So far officials have made no mention of resuming safety checks specifically on buses travelling over Patong Hill, as has been common practice after other accidents involving tour buses on Patong Hill in the past.
Kakka2 | 24 March 2023 - 15:24:43