Capt Adul Deenonpho of the Phu Wiang Police confirmed to The Phuket News' Thai-language sister newspaper Khao Phuket yesterday (Jan 6) that they arrested Noppadon Naononthong after he was involved in a fatal hit-and-run incident the previous day.
Noppadon, 52, had previously been a monk for 17 years.
He was charged with drunk and reckless driving which caused a hit-and-run collision with a motorbike, killing the two people riding on it. Noppadon was imprisoned at Phu Wiang Police Station, awaiting transfer to the detention cells Chumphae Court today (Jan 7).
Capt Adul explained that on Sunday afternoon (Jan 5) at 3:40pm Noppadon was driving in the Phu Wiang District area. Approaching a curve in the road in Tambon Baan Reua, he attempted to overtake another vehicle and collided head-on with a motorbike.
The motorbike was being ridden by Thanakorn Peunsaen, 19, and his passenger Wikanda Resatan, 18.
Both sustained serious injuries and were found laying on the road by a passer-by. A teacher from the nearby Phu Wiang Wittayakom School, with assistance from the “Khao Khon Phu Wiang” Facebook page, alerted rescue workers to the scene.
Mr Thanakorn and Miss Wikanda were rushed to Phu Wiang Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.
Noppadon left the scene of the crash quickly and was not present when rescue workers arrived. A local resident followed the car to the nearby temple and called the police to alert them.
On arrival at 4:20pm and following initial inspection of the temple, police found one monk acting suspiciously who smelt of alcohol. They also discovered a pickup truck with significant damage to its front parked near the monk’s accommodation.
Following questioning, it was confirmed to police by a resident monk that the truck belonged to Noppadon.
Police were able to trace Noppadon’s truck to the accident as a piece of his vehicle had broken off following the collision and was left at the scene.
An alcohol breath test gave a reading of 196mg/L ( a reading of 0.196 in many Western countries). Noppadon was then asked to leave the monkhood in order to be prosecuted.
Phu Wiang Police Chief Col Phairote Traitham visited Wiang Kao Hospital and reported a sentiment of great sorrow and regret due to the respective losses.