Five people were killed and one seriously injured after a pickup they were travelling crashed into a tree on a highway median strip in Tha Sala district of this southern province early on Sunday, police said.
The accident occurred at about 3.30am on Highway 401 (Nakhon Si Thammarat-Surat Thani) near Moo 5 village in tambon Sa Kaew, Tha Sala district.
Pol Lt Col Kasemsit Champathong, deputy Tha Sala police chief, said a preliminary investigation revealed that the pickup, with six people on board, was heading from Nakhon Si Thammarat town to tambon Chalong in Sichon district when it veered off the road to hit a kilometre marking post before crashing into a tree in the middle of the median strip.
Found dead in the badly-damaged vehicle were two men, Pisawat Promchan, 23 and younger brother Apiwat Promchan, 19, and three women – Jirachya Sae Lim, 23, Rattanaporn Muangduang, 23 and Warangkana Kimseng, 23. A man, Suthisak Promchan 23, was seriously injured.
The injured was rushed to Tha Sala Hospital.
It was not immediately known who was driving the vehicle, Pol Lt Col Kasemsit said.
All six were relatives who lived in house No 35/2 in Moo 2 village, tambon Chalong in Sichon district.
An investigation was underway to establish the cause of the accident although it was initially believed the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Rescuers examine a badly-damaged pickup that rammed into a tree in the middle of a median strip on Highway 401 in Tha Sala district, Nakhon Si Thammarat, early on Sunday. Five people were killed and one seriously injured. (Photo: Nujaree Rakrun)