A speeding, sleepy driver is being blamed for a deadly bus crash in Korat early Saturday that killed seven Thai tourists and injured 40 others.
Pinit Kaensakho, 44; Phenchan Anuprai, Ekkaphol Singboran, Srisurat Krachangchan and Pitak Chamchong, and two others died in the 3:45 a.m. wreck at the Chai Mongkhol bypass on Ratchasima-Pak Thong Chai Road Nakhon Ratchasima’s Muang District.
The Kalasin-registered double-decker tour bus was carrying 47 health volunteers from Chaturaphak Phiman District in Roi Et to Pattaya for a study trip.
Survivors described a terrifying drive as the driver, who at one point nodded off behind the wheel, raced down dark highways at high speed despite pleas from passengers to slow down or pull over to take a nap.
The driver refused, saying he had rendezvous with two other company coaches carrying more Roi Et health volunteers in Kabin Buri District of Prachin Buri.
The bus was moving so fast, passengers said they could not sleep as they feared for their lives. Their fears came true as the speeding coach entered the intersection at the same time as a 22-wheeled big-rig loaded with tapioca roots. The bus plowed into the side of the tractor-trailer traveling from Lop Buri, crushing the front of the coach before it overturned. Several passengers were crushed to death.