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The motorcycle on which the pair were travelling when hit by the truck

Phuket Ice Truck Driver Surrenders Over Death of Schoolgirl

Thursday, November 17, 2011
PHUKET: The driver of an ice truck involved in a crash at a Phuket intersection in which a 16-year-old was killed on Tuesday has surrendered to police.

Suwit Prachoomchai, 45, from Ranong, surrendered to officers at the Phuket City Police Station about four hours after the fatal crash at the major intersection near Saphan Hin public park.

He ran from the scene and later went to his employer's office. It is believed the advice was that he should go to see police.

Schoolgirl Wiparat Ketkaew, 16, was killed instantly when a truck wheel struck her head. Her pillion passenger, Pantha Panumas, also 16, remains in Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City with four broken limbs and serious head injuries.

The pair were turning right towards the park, witnesses told police, when the ice truck ran a red light and hit them. The students were not wearing safety helmets.

While Phuket still has too many crashes involving motorcycles, the number of fatalities has been substantially reduced over two years by improved signage, road surfaces and the ''100 percent helmet'' campaign.

The domestic science students were from the Phuket Vocational College near the intersection, one of several Phuket schools and colleges that have an agreement to coax students to wear helmets by imposing classroom penalties if they are caught repeatedly without head protection.

Although road fatalities have been reduced, the number of serious crippling injuries remains unacceptably high on Phuket, largely because buses are not used often enough or services do not exist.

Police allowed the ice truck driver to go free on bail of 15,000 baht while their investigation continues.

Although several classmates witnessed the fatal crash, officers said the busy intersection still does not have security cameras that would provide indisputable evidence of what took place.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Helmets, cameras... all this doesn't help at all as long as basic traffic rules are violated all the time and a bail of THB 15 k is just a bad joke. The bigger the vehicle they drive the more careless they become.

Posted by Resident on November 17, 2011 13:34


15,000 baht What a joke. Don't think he will show up at court when it comes up for mention. Very cheap for a manslaughter or culpable driving charge. Cost someone I know 150,000 when they were stationary and run into from behind by a motorcycle doing 100k with no lights racing another.

Doesn't matter much if your heads in a helmet or not if it's run over buy the back wheel of a 6 wheel truck . Both at fault I assume, Girls underage and no licence with no training, driver runs a red light then does a bolt.

If there was economical public transport available this probably wouldn't have happened.

R.I.P Wiparat Ketkaew, It is so very sad, I hope your death is not in vain and the authorities do something to reduce this unnecessary road carnage. Unfortunately when one person dies it's a tragedy. When many die it's a statistic. I hope your friend Pantha Panumas makes a full recovery but this event will haunt her forever. Such a shame for a young person to have to bear.

Posted by innocent bystander on November 17, 2011 21:52


Not sure what it is with people and not waiting for lights to change. The amount that go before the lights turn green is ridiculous and it's easy to see the amount who jump the red, a crazy combination.

Posted by phuket madness on November 18, 2011 09:44


There is one security camera at the intersection and it rotates 180 degrees so that would be able to provide evidence. (moderated)

Posted by Jamie on November 22, 2011 04:03

Wednesday October 27, 2021
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