The force of the impact uprooted the street lamp entirely from the central reservation, leaving it strewn across the busy road.
No passengers were in the van at the time of the accident, confirmed Capt Chatree Choowochian of the Wichit Police.
The driver, 29-year-old Tawee Prasert, suffered minor injuries to his chest and legs, Capt Chatree said.
Rescue workers administered first aid to Tawee before taking him to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town for treatment and further medical examination.
“The driver, Mr Tawee, was not seriously injured. He was conscious and told police that he fell asleep at the wheel,” Capt Chatree said.
Tawee has now been charged with reckless driving, Capt Chatree confirmed.