Girl riding in pickup bed killed

Rescue workers retrieve the body of a girl from the rear of a pickup truck following a crash in Wang Thong district of Phitsanulok on Saturday. (Photo by Chinnawat Singha)

PHITSANULOK: A 14-year-old girl was killed and a friend hurt when the pickup truck they were travelling in rear-ended another pickup before hitting a concrete barrier in Wang Thong district on Saturday afternoon.

The crash occurred between kilometre markers 47 and 48 on the Phitsanulok-Lom Sak Road, said Pol Capt Khonnapot Inthuphut, deputy investigation chief at the Kaeng Sopha police station. The incident was reported at 2.36pm.

Police said the driver of the first truck, with the two girls sitting in the bed and a motorcycle next to them, lost control while travelling on the slippery road, causing the vehicle to rear-end another pickup before ramming into a concrete barrier.

The force of the crash killed one of the girls and hurt another. The dead victim, identified as Panan Paladyot, 14, sustained head injuries when her head struck the rail of the truck. The injured victim, Warissara Plueng-apai, also 14, was rushed to a hospital.

A police investigation found that Panan had been riding a motorcycle to a Songkran event with friends before the incident. When she noticed the tyre of the bike leaking, she phoned her father for help. He then came to pick up the bike, his daughter and her friend.

Because it was raining, the road was slippery. Police believe the girl’s father might have driven the truck at high speed, causing him to lose control.

Officers plan to question the two drivers to find out the cause.

Earlier this month, the government banned people from riding in the beds of pickup trucks in a bid to reduce road accidents during the Songkran festival.

However, a public outcry ensued and authorities said they would delay enforcementof the rule until after Songkran. They have not said when enforcement would start.

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