Bus driver in deadly crash charged with reckless driver

national March 04, 2014 00:00

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Police on Tuesday charged the driver of the ill-fated bus packed with students that crashed into an 18-wheel truck last month, killing 16 passengers and injuring many others. The charge is reckless driving leading to death and injury to others.

Police quoted Sompong Saebe, 48, who surrendered to police on Monday, as claiming that he did not flee after the accident but suffered injuries and consulted a doctor for chest pain. He helped some injured students before going to see doctor, he said.

The suspect is currently detained in a Kabin Buri Provincial Court detention cell and police have objected to bail on the grounds that he is a flight risk.

After recovering from the chest pain, Sompong said he decided to surrender to police to fight the charges against him. He also insisted that the accident resulted from the brake malfunction, not reckless driving. He said that he would also be ordained as monk after the court case is completed to make merit for the deceased victims.

The bus, carrying 60 students and teachers from Ban Dong Lhob School on a field trip, collided with the truck on Asia Highway 304 (Kabin Buri-Nakhon Ratchasima) in Nadee district on February 28.

Viriyah Insurance's Krabin Buri branch manager for compensations, Piya Chuchuay, who was present during Sompong's interrogation, said that the company would pay compensation to the victims of up to Bt350,000 for death and up to Bt300,000 for injury.

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