Crash kills Muslim leader's aide

Rasamee Damchawai, the 55-year-old deputy secretary-general to Chularatchamontri Aziz Pitakkhumpol, was one of two people killed when their van veered off the highway in the southern province of Surat Thani on Saturday morning.

Mr Rasamee was among six passengers in the silver Toyota Commuter van registered in Bangkok to the office of the Chularatchamontri, the spiritual leader of the country's Muslims. They were heading from his home province of Pathum Thani to Songkhla.

The accident happened on the southbound lane of Asian Highway 41 in Moo 3 of Tha Rong Chang sub-district in Phunphin district at 6.40am.

Van driver Somwang Jaemsai was found dead on his seat. Mr Rasamee succumbed to his injuries in a local hospital.

Other severely injured passengers were identified as Udom Maengthong, 47; Pannarai Sriprasert, 41; Dollorma Muleemusee, 60; Pannee Damchawai, 55 who is Mr Rasamee's wife; and Alima Muleemusee, 52. They are natives of Khlong Luang district in Pathum Thani and Nong Chok district of Bangkok.

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