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The wreck of a pickup involved in today's crash in southern Phuket

UPDATE Phuket Crash: Girl Dead, Five Hurt as Pegas Van Hits Pickup

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Today's Updating News Report

PHUKET: A Pegas mini-van collided with a converted pickup truck carrying school children on Phuket today, leaving a nine-year-old girl dead and five people, three of them children, injured.

A spokesperson at the British International School confirmed today that the dead girl was a student. Her parents had been notified, the spokesperson said.

According to police accounts, a mini-van travelling south from Phuket City towards Chalong Circle crashed into the rear of a vehicle in front in Chao Fa Road West, then swerved into oncoming traffic.

A converted pick-up travelling north was badly damaged. The girl died in the crash when she was thrown from the vehicle. Three other students and the driver were injured.

The other vehicle was a Pegas mini-van and the driver was also injured. A passenger escaped unhurt. The vehicle was on its way to pick up tourists in Karon.

The converted pickup was hired by parents to transport children from southern Phuket to the British International School and Kajonkiet School in Phuket City.

The crash took place near Chalong temple about 6.30am. The injured were taken to hospitals in Phuket City.

Killed was Kullnaree Rattu-ardarachanee, 9. Injured were three girls, Kullsatree Keng-int, 8, Prapatip Pengsakul, 15, and Aoitip Sanguantip, 13.

It's the second fatal crash involving notorious Pegas vehicles in 15 days. Police are still hunting the driver who fled the scene of a crash in which a Pegas bus killed a female motorcyclist and seriously injured her pillion passenger in Thepkasattri Road on November 14.

Today's crash is likely to bring to a head simmering unhappiness expressed by Phuket motorists about the behavior on the roads of some Pegas drivers.

It's believed the vehicles, mostly used to carry Russian tourists, are contracted from local owners and have a white coat of paint and the Pegas logo applied.

A Phuketwan reader wrote today: I came by few moments after the accident, the way tour van and pick up truck were position it look like going north from Chalong towards Phuket town but who can say. Orange colored truck forced into a small wooden structure and a tour van from Pegas well banged up with fire fighters trying to get the driver out of the van. It didn't look good.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Drivers of vans drive like crazy taking all the risks. So when the police going to be concerned about these people by checking the license and especially the time spent driving. These are all potential killers.
This must stop. It will take many dead or wounded to install a real punishment? Maybe they should meet crazy schedules imposed by their bosses?

Posted by philou on November 29, 2012 08:46

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I came by few moments after the accident, the way tour van and pick up truck were position it look like going north from Chalong towards Phuket town but who can say. Orange colored truck forced into a small wooden structure and a tour van from Pegas well banged up with fire fighters trying to get the driver out of the van. It didn't look good.

Posted by GN on November 29, 2012 08:55

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Saw this on the way to work - looked very bad. It's not just the vans though that drive badly - it's everyone and it is getting worse with more and more cars on the road. Where is the public transport solution to give people an incentive to leave the car/motorbike at home, and reduce the number of vans and pirate buses?

Posted by Campanil on November 29, 2012 09:37

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This is our regular route and when we see a vehicle with Pegas logo we get out of their way because of the speed they travel and always overtaking into the oncoming traffic.

Posted by Muffler on November 29, 2012 09:58

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"According to police accounts, a mini-van travelling south from Phuket City towards Chalong Circle crashed into the rear of a vehicle in front in Chao Fa Road West, then swerved into oncoming traffic."

Perhaps it was the usual "I'm coming, out of my way" Mini-Bus-Driver / Taxi-Driver / Bus-Driver overtaking process, using the 3. and 4. lane on the right side for their direction?
According to the pictures (of the mini bus), I've seen: Full speed crash!

Posted by Anonymous on November 29, 2012 11:04

Editor Comment:

Best not to use guesswork, Anonymous. Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn't. Speculation has no value.

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Totally agree with Muffler. The Pegas drivers are particularly bad. We nearly got wiped out this morning along Patak road in Kata by a Pegas bus cutting the corner oncoming into our lane.

Posted by Anonymous on November 29, 2012 11:08

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Do "converted pick-up's" have seat belts fitted?
So many "adults" to blame for the death of this young girl.
So sorry to read this news. My heart goes out to her parents. Hope the other children get well soon.

Posted by G Horne on November 29, 2012 11:46

Editor Comment:

Bench-style seats can be a real problem in a crash. The person at the cabin end sometimes has to take the brunt of other passengers hitting them at speed with a flat, often metal surface on the other side.
Phuket needs a safe, economical public transport alternative, for the sake of the lives of its children.

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So sad to hear this, and even more so, knowing that nothing will change. Everybody seems to break the law here. Speed, selfishness, and lack of education will kill more people here in the future. When will it end?
Please give the people public transport, because it is 5 past 12 already.

Posted by Charles on November 29, 2012 12:27

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The company should start taking actions instead of saying it isn't their fault, because they just contract the vehicle from another company.

Posted by John on November 29, 2012 12:55

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Only some days ago we were driven by an excellent young Thai driver to Surat Thani. He was patient but fast, early spotting any possible trouble ahead, smelling if motorbikes may turn or a dog turns suicidal. He claimed to have driven nearly 250.000 km yet and never had an accident and I believe him. But I can deliver no feedback of him to his company or to other tourists on Phuket as there is no place online or offline where to do it.

Where can I rate drivers? Why not let the passengers fill out a form, even via smartphone or sms to rate the drivers abilities after the trip? Then companies/hotels know, who needs more teaching and who needs a raise.

Posted by Lena on November 29, 2012 14:14

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I hope that the police will do a thorough investigation of this and that the driver will be sent to prison for manslaughter. No more bad excuses about slippery road or failing brakes.

Posted by Jens in Chalong on November 29, 2012 15:12

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" Where can I rate drivers? " waoo Good Question, Thailand style in 3G even less then thats compared to some other country will get in January 4G so i believe for not to be negative rated the Drivers will take a or two decade before to see this good suggestion here.

Cheers

Posted by ratatoee on November 29, 2012 15:27

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@ratatoee..mate, it is time to change your medication, clearly your currents meds are not work. What has 3G and 4G data transmission, got to do with this story. Even very slow dial up, can send a short text message, at a rate faster than you can think...ok type....no for you think is the right word.

@G Horne, not all countries have mandatory seat belt laws, some also enforce the use of all seatbelts, but still allow people to be transported in the rear of a pickup, IF all seatbelts are in use. Also, if people are seat belted, in the rear, of the pickup, they are effectively trapped, if the vehicle rolls, far better to be thrown out of the vehicle. Many Thais are not taught the dangers in life, therefore are ignorant of them.

Posted by dbate_me on November 29, 2012 17:40

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The problem are not the drivers for Pegas. The problen are all the drivers for Taxis, minivans, tuktuk, buses. Only few of them respect traffic rules.

Posted by jbaemm on November 29, 2012 18:20

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This little girl is known to me and my family, such a tragedy.!!!
I wonder if it's possible through all of us to petition for something to be done via police and authority etc to make the Phuket roads safer, the TAT want us to spend our money here so should ensure safer roads and transport etc, it would be a Mammoth task but at least little Wan's life would not have been in vain.
Everyone please have a think about what we as farangs could do together. I suggest better driving training for the police as a start, then better implimentation of the laws such as they be now.
As an addendum to my previous post I feel that if the police had some highway training along the lines of western training they could then clamp down on bad driving habits and speeding and if they themselves UNDERSTOOD the rules of the road even here in Thailand things may slowly for the better they could make a good living from bad driving not just no helmets etc.

Posted by Joy on November 29, 2012 19:00

Editor Comment:

Phuket has no safe, economical public transport system because of corruption and thuggery, Joy. Fix that and the next generation of Phuket kids stands a chance. Petitions are a waste of time.

Contact your embassy and make the point that tourists in mini-vans are just as at risk as local schoolkids. Call your ambassador, and tell him (or her) in person that you won't rest until there is a safe public transport system for all tourists and residents. Tell him (or her) that it's all about the corruption. As long as corruption thrives and prospers, Phuket's kids will die.

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@Lena
"Where can I rate drivers? Why not let the passengers fill out a form, even via smartphone or sms to rate the drivers abilities after the trip?"

Rating of the drivers/taxi are actually an interesting idea.
There are an app for smartphones available for doing this, https://taxibeat.com/

So far this system is in use only in a few countries, but I really would like to see something similar to this in Phuket.

Posted by tdr on November 29, 2012 19:20

Editor Comment:

Can I say something here? Isn't this a new technology way around the problem, like having security cameras and expecting them to stop crime? The answer, surely, is to have a system where drivers are not allowed to drive until they understand that the safety of their passengers is the paramount concern. Anything else is skirting the issue. Do we really need to wait for a big crash with multiple fatalities to happen before this simple equation is understood?

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Passed one hour after too, on the way to bring my daughter to school, on hellish roads,as every morning! The street light at cross at Rolly Tasker, has been out of work for three days today? what is the Government doing here? warming the chairs and feeding corruption only??? how many days to fix a major street light!???/! Phuket you are just getting worse and worse and more dangerous every day a bit more.

Posted by Olly on November 29, 2012 21:13

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it isnt rocket science driving lessons and a proper test, learn rules and the police enforce them, too difficult though.

Posted by stuart on November 29, 2012 21:15

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Ed.
"Phuket has no safe, economical public transport system because of corruption and thuggery, Joy. Fix that and the next generation of Phuket kids stands a chance. Petitions are a waste of time."

I'm Spanish.
Se puede decir mas alto, pero no mas claro.
"You can say louder, but not more lucid" .
Sorry is my english, is not good enough.

Posted by jbaemm on November 29, 2012 21:46

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Very sad for the girl and her family...as well to the others that were effected.

We can talk and speculate all we want, but there is only 1 way to fix this problem...

Police Enforcement.

Pay and train the police officers in a way that gives them the authority like they have in some 'Western' countries. Reprimand or release the one's that don't, and hire a new wave of pro-active police officers...and pay them appropriately.

Until this happens, nothing will happen.

Posted by kobee on November 30, 2012 05:31

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Can you imagine e a converted pick up used as a school bus in the western hemisphere ? No way... and there are reason why ! But in many countries, just not thinking about consequences in case of an accident, this is a normal vehicle for transporting humans.
Pegas drivers aren't worse than other taxi / visa run / tour mini - vans as too many of the drivers of these vehicles switch of their brain when starting the engine.

Posted by Resident on November 30, 2012 05:45

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Not quite sure where the "converted" part and talk of small bench seats has come from - looking at the pictures it is quite clear it was a 4 door pickup (from the colour, a new Ford Ranger), and as such would have a proper rear seat with seatbelts. The "converted" part main suggest a bodykit or bigger wheels maybe, but it was certainly designed by the manufacturer to have 5 people on board.

Posted by Confused on November 30, 2012 08:51

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@dbate_me Read twice my Text, Stop the Drink Please it's time to do it and you will understand the meaning of it clearly , Best of luck Mate

Posted by ratatoee on November 30, 2012 09:49

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We need to turn this incident into concrete actions that lead to change. Petitions, calling ambassadors, etc are all good ideas, but it amounts to nothing without an organised, centrally led action plan with clear objectives. There won't be any money forthcoming from the government for safer public transport until they feel the pressure, which means this needs to be something that comes from a united Thai/Farang group for an extended period of time. This terrible incident should be more than enough to get us moving. Is there an association of Parent/Teachers groups for the island that can maybe lead this?

Posted by Campanil on November 30, 2012 09:50

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@ratatoee, read it many times, still do not know what you are on about.
Does anyone understand him, please I would like to know what he is on about. The 3G and 4G networks have NOTHING to do with this article. We have seen in other accidents, it does not matter if the driver is in the wrong, in fact, one driver recently, after causing an accident, was, by his companies own words, back driving the next day. So, it would be a waste of time to "rate" drivers, if their own employer does not care, about how safe they drive.

Posted by dbate_me on November 30, 2012 10:45

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This is a tragedy. And everyone should have seen it coming. Busy traffic, crazy van drivers, school kids without seat belts, all part of daily life in Phuket.
For myself, I have been implying a few rules lately, which is insisting on seat belts being used by anyone in my car, not allowing family members in vehicles that don't have them. And I have been calling businesses and drivers about their behavior on the road.
Most vans have a mobile number on the back and I'll ask a passenger to jot it down when I see an idiot, to call him later. You can do the same with PEGAS vans and just call the office. A good company will take note of it!

Posted by Tinkerbell on November 30, 2012 11:49

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"Can I say something here? Isn't this a new technology way around the problem, like having security cameras and expecting them to stop crime?"

No its not. Rating is pretty no tech in itself. It is a well known feedback loop for employees, politicians, hotel/resorts, bookwriters, teachers, peers etcpp. It is only the question of how you do it, where may be some tech comes into the equation. For example mobile data phones make it a lot easier to handle, putting the costs down.

I mean the rating of drivers / driving companies would give a lot of value to tourists to decide, which company to hire, whom to ask for. And companies will get the info to change or will go out of business, if they do not "have a system where drivers are not allowed to drive until they understand that the safety of their passengers is the paramount concern. " Because black sheep will be spotted. Bad behavior will be rewarded properly. Rating just gives right incentives.

But without the tourists knowing in advance, without transparency like a rating of companies and individual drivers, why you think something will change only by calling the embassy/my consul? I got in contact with them, they said, as long as there are record numbers arriving, the chances of change are slim.

You write for a proper public transport system for years. Only incremental change so far. Very incremental. With the effect, that the status quo is more cemented then ever. Tuktuk/taxi rulz.

For people with a 300 Baht/day wage or little more a cheap truck turned schooltaxi is the only affordable alternative to get their kids to school until then. Best help for them would be the tourist racers to drive less reckless on the roads. Rating will help.

Posted by Lena on November 30, 2012 12:40

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@Tinkerbell. What you say is true "A good company will take note of it!" Only one teeny weeny problem, can anyone find a "good company?" All those I have tried, scare the s+++ out of me.

Posted by dbate_me on November 30, 2012 12:41

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@ dbate_me "sorry for you " if you could not understand have a good week end fox :))

Posted by ratatoee on November 30, 2012 18:58


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