A British pensioner and his partner have both been killed in a horror car crash being investigated by police in Thailand.
Keith Miles, 78, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, was driving with his boyfriend Tawid Kanadee, 27, in a white Toyota Yaris when the accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon, December 12.
Tawid Kanadee, the driver, slowed down to turn right into a side road before being hit from behind by a silver Honda CRV. Mr Miles and Mr Kanadee were thrown into the path of an oncoming black Isuzu pickup truck as a result of the collision.
Keith Miles, who was sitting in the front left passenger seat, which took the brunt of the impact, had to be cut free from the wreckage shortly after the crash at around 4.30pm local time. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Kanadee was rushed to the hospital by paramedics, but he died as a result of his injuries in the accident.
Officers are now investigating the crash as shocked friends paid tribute to Mr Miles, who had worked as a school teacher in the northeast of the country after leaving England several years ago.
Thong Supachai, a friend of the couple, said: ‘Keith was loved by everyone. He was so much fun and he was always happy and making people laugh.
‘He was also very caring and he helped the children at the school a lot. He enjoyed teaching them and they liked him, because he was funny. I’m so sad.’
Paramedics said the wreckage of the small car had to be cut open by emergency workers to reach Mr Miles, who was crushed inside the metal. They said he suffered catastrophic injuries in the crash and he was declared dead on the roadside.
Officers investigating the death discovered that a silver Honda CRV driven by school director Dr Kanittha Thonglert, 57, rammed into the back of the couple’s car when it slowed to turn into a side road.
The oncoming black Isuzu appeared to have no time to react when Mr Miles and Mr Kanadee were pushed into its path. The other drivers involved in the accident were not seriously injured.
‘The investigating officer is gathering evidence to file charges against the people involved who drove recklessly and caused the collisions and death,’ said police Lieutenant Colonel Ronnapong Chorsai of the Sawang Wirawong Police Station.
The fatal collision occurred just a week after an accident involving a truck and a school bus at the same location, in which one person was killed and one was injured.
Thailand has one of the world’s worst records for road safety. Ministers have set a target of lowering fatalities from 32.7 deaths per 100,000 people to 12 deaths per 100,000 people by 2027.
However, the efforts are hampered by a lack of road safety education in schools, cheap car loans, notoriously easy driving tests, police failures to enforce road laws, endemic corruption, and chronic under-investment in infrastructure.