Van driver swerves into barrier, collapses and dies

The shaken passengers watch on as medics attend to the collapsed van driver. (Photo grab from TV Channel 3 online).

CHON BURI – A van driver collapsed at the wheel as his vehicle swerved into a roadside concrete barrier and came to a halt on the Bang Na Trat highway in Muang district on Tuesday evening.

Rescue workers were called to the scene of the crash at kilometre marker 53 on the Bang Na-Trat Road in tambon Khlong Tamru, Muang district.

They found a public passenger van with Bangkok licence plates stopped at the concrete barrier, with long scratches along the side of the vehicle.

The driver, Phayont Juitaeng, 50, was unconscious in his seat. He was given first aid and then taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards, Thai media reported on Wednesday.

The five passengers in the van, running between Bangkok and Bang Saen, were shaken but not hurt.

Supaporn Thurarat, a passenger, told police the van had left from Mor Chit bus terminal for Chon Buri. The driver had travelled at a normal speed.

Just before the accident, the driver gradually steered the van to the right side of the road, causing it to hit the concrete barrier and grind to a halt. He then collapsed. The panicked passengers immediately climbed out of the vehicle and sought help.

Police were investigating, but suspected the driver was over-tired and suffered a heart attack. He may have intentionally swerved into the barrier to stop the van.

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