In what might have felt like their worst nightmare come true, 40 passengers on a minibus bound from Phra Pradaeng to Phahurat on Tuesday night found themselves erratically swerving from side to side on the road while hurtling at high speed as the driver, who later admitted to being high on meth, tried to elude pursuing police officers.
The ordeal ended for passengers when a police car managed to block and stop the bus on Thaksin Road in Thon Buri district at 8pm. But the van driver jumped out and ran across the road with the police in hot pursuit. They caught him.
The driver, Wichit Duangsopha, 38, from Samut Sakhon allegedly admitted to police he that he had taken a methamphetamine pill before leaving the Bus No 82 depot in Phra Pradaeng.
For police, the episode began when Pol Lt-Colonel Pratya Krasaelap, the traffic police chief of the Bukkalo police station, was directing traffic in front of the Big C Dao Khanong shopping mall. He saw a minibus driving at a dangerously high speed in the second lane and swerving from side to side.
Pratya radioed police to stop the minibus at an upcoming checkpoint, but the bus sped past, prompting a car-chase for about 500 metres before the bus was hemmed in and stopped.
Pratya said he took the action out of concern for the safety of passengers.
The bus driver was charged with allegedly driving under the influence of drugs.