Escaped Foreign Patient Steals Van, Causes Crash and Phuket Traffic Chaos

The scene where the van stolen by a foreigner crashed into another van in Patong, Phuket, on July 6, 2024.

PHUKET —  A van driver parked to buy durian by the roadside when a foreign man who had escaped from a hospital stole the van and drove it to Patong Beach, crashing into another van. This caused traffic congestion throughout Saturday evening.

Patong Police Station was notified of the accident at 8:19 p.m. on July 6. Two vans had collided on Patong Hill, Kathu District, about 100 meters past Pho Suea Shrine. Two people were injured in the two vans.

In the first van, a white one with Songkhla license plates, a foreign tourist was trapped inside. Rescue workers from Kusoltham Phuket Foundation had to cut open the wreckage to extract him before sending him to Patong Hospital.



The other injured person was in a black van with Phuket license plates. He was a Thai man named Sompong who suffered leg injuries.

Thiwa Santichatisak, the driver of the white van, said that before the incident, he had parked to buy durian in front of a gas station on the way up Patong Hill. He left the engine running. Suddenly, a foreign man hijacked his van and drove towards Patong Beach.

When Thiwa followed in another vehicle to find his van, he discovered that it had collided with another van, damaging both vehicles. The foreign man was sent to the hospital.

phuket mad2
The foreign man was sent to the hospital.

This accident caused severe traffic congestion in both directions. Officials had to urgently manage traffic flow before investigating the foreign tourist and contacting the embassy.

According to information from Chalermpong Saengdee, a Member of Parliament for Phuket, this foreigner had a history of assaulting Myanmar workers and was previously sent to the hospital. His involvement in this incident was due to his escape from the hospital.