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Phuket speedboat driver tests positive for drugs following collision

PHOTO: Facebook/เหยี่ยวข่าว ภูเก็ต Newshawk Phuket

The Phuket boat driver who has been charged with reckless driving injuring 35 people, is also expected to be charged with drug use after a collision in Chalong Bay last week. The 29 year old driver, named as Sathit Mardchai, was driving foreign tourists back from the Phi Phi Islands when his speedboat hit a channel marker, at speed, just 500 metres from Chalong Pier.

The crash occurred on Wednesday, May 17, at around 5.30pm. Emergency workers and over a dozen ambulances arrived at Chalong Pier to assist the injured. Most of those onboard were Russian tourists, along with a number of Ukrainian, Kazakhstani, Hong Kong, Chinese, and Thai nationals. In total, 35 people were injured, 16 of whom are still in hospital.

According to a Phuket Express report, Sermphan Sirikong, chief of Phuket Provincial Police, has confirmed that the driver underwent a standard drugs and alcohol test following the collision. While no alcohol was found in his system, the presence of methamphetamine was confirmed.

The police investigation into the collision is ongoing and more charges are expected to be filed against Sathit. Meanwhile, officials from Phuket Immigration have visited the injured passengers in hospital in order to give them the visa extensions necessary in the case of ongoing medical treatment.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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