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One killed, one injured by monk driver

One killed, one injured by monk driver

A car driven by a temple abbot hit a motorcycle, killing a woman and injuring her younger brother, in Phon district on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Pol Capt Natha Kijnongsuang, deputy chief investigator at Phon, said the car driver was Phra Sen Sikayom, 74, the abbot of Wat Suwannaram, Ban Nong Khurong in tambon Lomkhom.

Phra Sen told police he drove the Mazda sedan from the temple on Sunday morning to Ban Nong Phai, a nearby village, for a religious function. On the way back in the afternoon, he stopped the car at the mouth of a soi, waiting to turn left onto the main road. When another car came and turned left into the soi he decided he could to drive off, believing the road was clear. Instead, the car hit an oncoming motorcycle he had not seen approaching.

His car veered to the left and into the roadside ditch. The monk was not injured.

The impact killed Sarocha Hoithaisong, 23, the motorcycle pillion rider, and seriously injured her younger brother, Navapol, 19, the driver. Mr Navapol was rushed to Sirindhorn Hospital in Ubon Ratchathani.

Sarocha had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, Khon Kaen campus, while Navapol, who suffered a broken leg, is a student at Maha Sarakham University.

The monk was waiting for police at the scene, and expressed his remorse. 

Pol Capt Natha said the abbot would be charged with reckless driving causing death and damage to property. An alcohol test showed the monk was not driving under the influence.

 (Photo: Chakkrapan Natanri)

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