Thalang Police were called to the scene, on the curve south of the Heroines Monument about 50 metres from the Jeeteng mansion (more commonly pronounced as “Yee Teng”), at 4:30am.
Police and Srisoonthorn Municipality rescue workers arrived to find a white Toyota Altis taxi with green licence plates that had sustained heavy damage in the accident.
Among the debris was the front left wheel and front door, both of which had been ripped off from the car entirely by the force of the impact. The back bumper of the car had also been torn from the body of the car.
One of the two Chinese tourists travelling in the taxi was injured, reported Thalang Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Phichai Phupommin.
The tourist, Peng Quan, 29, from Hunan, was bleeding heavily from the head. He was taken to Thalang Hospital for treatment.
The taxi driver, Prasong Pinatha, 35, was disoriented from his head hitting the windscreen in the impact, but was otherwise not hurt, he noted.
About 80 meters away from taxi wreck was a private company garbage truck that had suffered minor damage to its side.
Col Phichai noted that following their initial investigations police believe that the taxi driver, Mr Prasong, “likely” fell asleep at the wheel.
He had picked up the Chinese tourists at Phuket International Airport and was taking them to a hotel in Patong when the accident happened.
The taxi struck the roadside power pole, then spun and struck the side of the garbage truck, which was following very closely behind, he said.
The remains of the taxi was lifted onto a truck by crane and taken to Thalang Police Station as evidence.
Mr Prasong and the garbage truck driver, Banphod Paicomenam, 36, were both taken to Thalang Police Station for further questioning.
No charges for either drivers were mentioned in the report.
However, police have confirmed that the taxi that Mr Prasong was driving is registered to his father, Pramoon Pinatha, as shown on the door that was ripped off from the vehicle in the imapct.
The accident came les than 48 hours after Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana welcomed the Chinese Consul General in Songkhla, Ma Fengchun, at Phuket Provincial Hall to discuss the safety and promotion of Chinese tourism on the island. (See story here.)