Police finally close killer Pattaya U-turn after deaths of 2 children


Pattaya authorities finally followed through on promises to permanently close a deadly Sukhumvit Road U-turn, but not until after two 14-year-olds were killed there last month.

Workers using a giant crane hired by Banglamung police on June 2 placed large concrete barriers at the cutout outside Makro Cash & Carry in South Pattaya.

The work came too late to save the lives of the boy and girl illegally driving a motorbike May 30. They stopped at the U-turn declared closed in March and were struck and killed by a Bangkok-registered Honda Civic.

Pattaya City Hall “sloppily closed” the U-turn in March, but only blocked it off with easy-to-move plastic barricades. By April, the U-turn was fully open again, as motorcyclist too lazy to drive to the next turn simply pushed aside the flimsy barriers. Neither city hall nor traffic police bothered to put them back.

Linked metal fences block motorcycles from using the grassy area to “cheat” the illegal U-turn.

When photos circulated online showing the dangerous U-turn back in service, city hall in April promised to install concrete walls. Five weeks later, they still had not done it and two children died.

They were hardly the first. In November last year, British tourist John Gresty, 74, died at the same U-turn when he, too, was struck by a Honda Civic. Driver Sornchai Petchjamrat claimed the Briton had raced across traffic lanes to make the U-turn and cut him off.

Six days before Gresty died, Motorcyclist Pollapat Saiphothong, 28, was killed and another Thai man hurt in a motorbike collision at the same spot.

City workers place heavy cement blocks at the dangerous U-turn on Sukhumvit, opposite Makro Food Center.
Concrete barriers and linked metal fences block the U-turns in both directions.