The bodies of four Japanese citizens killed in a road accident in Ayutthaya province were flown home on yesterday (Nov 10) after family members identified the victims at Thammasat University Hospital.
Four Japanese tourists, two men and two women, and their Thai female guide were killed after the passenger van they travelled in rammed at the rear of a 10-wheel truck which was making a left turn on a highway in Bang Pa-in- district of Ayutthaya at 4pm on Nov 8.
The four Japanese were identified as Katsuhiko Narimoto, 65, Haruka Narimoto, 30, Kumiko Komeima, 59, and Yoshio Komeima, 68. They were on a one-day sightseeing tour organized by Tokyo-based Nippon Travel Agency Co.
The female Thai guide died in the van was identified as Ms Piyathip Kruengtai.
It was later revealed that two of the Japanese victims were highly skilled physicians.
Katsuhiko Narimoto was the committee chairman of the Narimoto Lady Hospital in Osaka prefecture. He died along with his 30-year-old daughter Haruka.
Yoshio Komeima was a senior physician at the Takeda Hospital in Kyoto. His wife, Kumiko, also died in the fatal crash.
Yesterday, officials from the Japanese Embassy along with staff from the AsiaOne Teck Funeral (THF) which specializes in international transportation of corpses arrived at the Thammasat Hospital’s Central Forensics Science Institute to take delivery of the bodies of the deceased.
Also the younger brother of the Thai guide, Piyathip, came to the institute to identify and claim his sister’s body.
He stated that his sister’s body would be taken back to their hometown in Nakhon Phanom for the funeral rite.
In another development, lawyer from R.L. Service Co. Ltd which runs the passenger van service, made a public apology over the tragic accident.
He assured that all compensation and aid will be provided in accordance with the law but will have to wait for the results of the formal police investigation.
The company confirmed that the van was in good operating condition and complied with all the Land Transport Department’s specifications prior to the accident.
Information released by the Ayutthaya branch of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports revealed that the Japanese tourists were travelling with Tiger Tourist Service which has insurance policies that will pay out 1 million baht in the event of fatality for employees.
Tourists will receive 2.2 million baht each as specified by Thai insurance laws.
Pol Col Sa-nga Thira-Saranyanont, Ayutthaya police deputy commander, said investigators have carried out preliminary questioning of Charun Aksornsri, the van driver, who gave them beneficial information.
He confirmed that the driver’s testimony correlates with physical evidence that has already been collected and the case file will become complete after police obtain forensic examination results from the hospital.
A check on the van’s tracking device by transport officials indicated that it was travelling at 93 kilometer per hour which led them to speculate that the accident was due to reckless driving.
Moreover, no braking traces was found at the scene, indicating that the driver did not apply the brake when the vehicle slammed into the 10-wheel truck.