A family of five killed over the weekend while driving down Chiang Mai’s Doi Inthanon mountain suffered more indignities Monday when four of five ambulances returning their bodies to Pathum Thani either broke down or crashed.
The mayor of Pathum Thani’s Lak Hok Subdistrict and his family were killed Saturday when their Toyota Hilux pickup truck overturned while taking a sharp curve on the road down from Chiang Mai’s Doi Inthanon mountain.
Sompong Sri-anan, his wife and three daughters all died in the mid-day crash on Highway 1009 from Chom Thong to Doi Inthanon in Baan Luang Subdistrict. The parents were thrown from the truck when it hit a tree while the three young women died inside the vehicle.
An investigation Sunday concluded Monday that Sompong, who was driving, both was unfamiliar with the route and driving on steep mountain roads. He kept the automatic transmission in drive, but continued to use the accelerator instead of letting gravity do the work and only apply brakes.
Others suggested he should have downshifted into low gear. Regardless, the vehicle was moving too quickly when it hit the curve and he lost control, killing himself and his entire family.
The spirits apparently were angry enough not to let him lie in peace as five separate ambulances were commissioned to take bodies individually back to Pathum Thani on Monday.
Four of the five vehicles suffered breakdowns or accidents: One suffered an engine issue, the second “swollen tires” that needed to be replaced while the third suffered a suspension failure. The fourth ambulance ended up on its side at the Mae Kao Sa-Aad Sai underpass.
Daeng Wongpheng, a fellow member of Lak Hok Subdistrict Council, said his and Sompong’s family had come to Chiang Mai for the long holiday and were paying respects to images of Buddha and gods at the top of Doi Inthanon. His car had come down the mountain first.
A version of this story first appeared in the Bangkok Herald.