Cops Charge Driver in Crash That Killed 13 Students

A funeral for one of the students killed in the crash.

BANGKOK — Police on Thursday pressed four criminal charges against a pickup truck driver behind a high-speed crash that killed 13 students earlier this week.

The charges filed against driver Nittaya Sukchan today include driving under the influence leading to deaths of others, investigators said, citing a lab result that reportedly showed an excessive amount of alcohol in his blood. 

Three other offenses were reckless driving, damage of properties, and allowing passengers to sit at the back of a pickup truck. 

Apart from the 13 students from a vocational college killed in the crash in Samut Prakan on Sunday, six people were also wounded including Nittaya. The driver was hospitalized after the incident. 

Read: Cops May Reinstate Pickup Truck Seating Ban After 13 Died in Crash

Speaking to police today, Nittaya said the students were being taunted by local gang members when he picked them up from a mor lam concert, so he sped away from the scene as soon as possible to avoid a confrontation. 

Nittaya also said he lost control of the vehicle when he was trying to overtake a car in front of him. 

The most serious charge Nittaya faces – fatal DUI carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.