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Ambulance and pickup truck crash six hurt

Six people, including a patient and two nurses, were hurt when a hospital ambulance and a pickup truck crashed at an intersection in Muang district early on Saturday.

The crash occurred about 12.15am at Non Tun intersection near Liang Muang Road in tambon Muang Klao, said Pol Capt Yongyut Sadao, deputy investigation chief at Muang Klao police station.

The pickup truck with Khon Kaen licence plates was found in the middle of the intersection with its front badly damaged when police and rescue workers arrived.

Next to the pickup, the hospital ambulance with Khon Kaen licence plates belonging to Phon Hospital struck a power pole on the road divider. Medical equipment was found scattered over the road.

One patient, two relatives and two nurses travelling on the ambulance were hurt. A passenger of the pickup truck was also injured. All were sent to two nearby hospitals.

The drivers of the ambulance and the pickup were unhurt.

Pickup driver Preecha Donphanphon, 48, told police that he was driving on the way home heading to Liang Muang Road. When the traffic light turned green at the intersection, he sped off.

The ambulance coming from another direction suddenly cut in front of his vehicle, resulting in the accident, Mr Preecha said.

The force of the crash caused the van to lose control and slammed into the power pole, which broke and fell onto another car waiting for a traffic light. The windscreen of the car was broken with its front section damaged.

Ambulance driver Issara Laodet, 36, said he was sending a patient to Khon Kaen Hospital and turning on emergency lights along the route.

When approaching the intersection, he also switched on the ambulance’s siren to prompt motorists to give way. He believed that the pickup driver might not notice.

Pol Capt Yongyut said the cause of the crash was being investigated. Police had yet to press charges against anyone as they would interrogate the injured and all involved first.

Photo: Chakrapan Natanri

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