The Toyota saloon must have been travelling at very high speed, police said today. The driver had just joined an illegal taxi group, one officer said.
His vehicle appeared to have lost control when overtaking another car and skewed into a power pole, splitting in two, with one half of the car coming to a stop five metres away from the other.
The driver, Suthep Kongchana, 57, lost his right foot at the ankle in the smash about 2.30am as he headed south in Thepkasattri Road towards Phuket City.
The crash woke up residents in the area around the Baan Lipon U-turn, north of the Heroines Monument.
Two passengers in the vehicle, Suchart Jongrak, 46, and Sakul Kongchana, 51, were taken to Thalang Hospital for treatment.
Kusoldharm Foundation workers found the missing foot after a search. Khun Sutep was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.
Doctors at Vachira Phuket decided his right leg had been so badly damaged in the crash that they amputated it below the knee.
The silver vehicle carried the driver's name on both sides, as recently agreed by the Land Transport Office in talks with Phuket drivers. But it did not carry official ''taxi'' green plates.