Another Killer Premium Brand Car Strikes

Charn Thaiphadungpong, 57, dropped his nephew off at Temrak Suksa School in Nonthaburi. Then he had some problem with his car, and as a result of this problem he lost control of the car in the school campus and ran the car into a group of 20 sixth-grade students, killing one and injuring 6 others, two of them seriously.

How did this happen? Here is what the Nation has to say about it:

"The driver of the Mercedes, Charn Thaiphadungpong, 57, said that after dropping his nephew off at the school he discovered that his car had problems, so he turned off the engine and put it in neutral so he could push it. In an effort to align the wheels correctly, Charn started the car but allegedly lost control, running into a group of 20 six-graders who were sitting nearby."

There are reports from Thai TV that suggest that the car had been modified, which allowed it to be started while still in gear. Automatic cars are usually required to be in park before the starter will operate.

Mr Charn Thaiphadungpong has been charged with with recklessness causing death and injuries. If it is the case that he was driving (or attempting to drive) a car which he knew to be unsafe, I believe that he should be charged with manslaughter.

Is it just me, or do these sort of stories usually involve Thais from rich families, driving a Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Porsche?

Tragic motor accidents are common in Thailand, a country where around 14,000 people are killed each year in road "accidents". I put the quotes around that word simply because if an "accident" is caused by people who are acting selfishly and in flagrant disregard for the value of the lives of those they share the roads with, that's not an accident.

I'm not suggesting that Mr Charn Thaiphadungpong doesn't regret his actions, or that he doesn't feel sorrow for the devastation he has caused. But there seems to be a common thread of a lack of care from the outset in all such cases.