Three diners killed as trailer truck rams into restaurant

A trailer truck carrying gravels lands at a restaurant in Nong Bua Lam Phu’s Na Klang district after ramming into it late Thursday night. Three customers were killed and seven others hurt. (Photo by rescue volunteer Cha-ngon Ngong-nguay Facebook page)

NONG BUA LAM PHU – Three customers were killed and seven others hurt, three seriously, when a gravel-loaded trailer truck rammed into seven vehicles and then a restaurant near a fresh market in Na Klang district late Thursday night.

Many diners at Prakob Ocha restaurant on Highway No.210 were thrown off their seats. Tables, chairs and other belongings were damaged and scattered over the area.

The force of the crash killed one man and injured nine others. Two of the wounded were later pronounced dead at a local hospital, bringing the number of fatalities to three. Those killed and injured were customers at the restaurant, Thai media reported.

The dead victims, one of whom was a woman, were identified later as Thongkham Pirunsunthorn, 50, whose body was found trapped under the trailer truck, Wichit Arirapitak, 45 and Ms Wilasinee Thaweechart, 26. Of the seven injured people, three were seriously hurt and being treated at Nong Bua Lam Phu Hospital.

Driver Runjuan Pongkhwanoi, 30, of Chaiyaphum province, was caught and charged with reckless driving causing deaths and injuries. He was tested negative in urine and blood-alcohol tests.

Mr Runjuan allegedly told police that he had been blinded by the high-beam headlights of an incoming vehicle. He lost control of the truck and tried to apply brakes, but failed. His truck then skidded off the road and rammed into the restaurant. Seven vehicles parked in the area were also damaged.

The seven damaged vehicles were two cars, two pickup trucks, one van and two motorcycles, said police. They were investigating the cause.

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