A bus swerving to avoid a herd of horses ended up in the ditch on a Phetchabun road early on Tuesday, leading to the death of one passenger and injuries to 26 others.
Police said the accident happened at 4.15am on the Saraburi-Lom Sak road in Ban Sakae Ngam village in Tambon Ban Tok of Phetchabun’s Muang district.
The air-conditioned bus was heading from Rayong to Phetchabun’s Lom Sak district when the accident occurred.
The bus driver, Samrit Thep-inthorn, 70, said he saw a herd of horses cross the road a short distance ahead of the bus. He swerved to the left to avoid them and plunged into the roadside ditch and was unable to stop before hitting a roadside power pole.
Killed was a 69-year-old woman, Anu Krasi, a resident of Phetchabun's Muang district.
Rescuers rushed another 26 injured passengers to the provincial hospital.
Local Pol Sr Sgt-Major Sarayut Thongdej said the accident followed on the heels of a similar incident that had happened just 10 minutes earlier. In that event, a car hit a horse on the other side of the road from where the bus encountered the animals. The horse was hit again and killed by a pickup truck, while the rest of the horses ran across the road.
Sarayut said the horses, which are about six to seven years old, belonged to a local college. He did not know why they were left outside to graze roadside, leading to the twin accidents.