Channel 5 Cameraman One of First Deaths of Songkran Holiday 2013

channel 5 thailand jpg


Channel 5 cameraman one of first deaths of Sonkran holiday

As most people know who live in Thailand, the Songkran holiday is the most dangerous time of the year. Hundreds of Thais, and some foreign visitors, die over what are known as the ‘seven dangerous days of Songkran’, usually due to drinking and driving (themselves or others on the road) or because of people throwing water and causing their death. Sadly, as the ‘seven dangerous days of Songkran 2013’ officially began today, a Channel 5 cameraman has already become what is likely the first fatality.

First Songkran victim dies

According to the Thai newspaper The Nation, 41-year-old Channel 5 cameraman, Sunet Thawaree, was killed today while filming motorists driving home for Songkran.

The Channel 5 news truck had been parked by the side of the road so Sunet could take video. He had stood in front of the vehicle to do so. A female driver overtook a bus and slammed into the back of Sunet’s truck pushing the truck into Sunet and then into a tree, and killing him almost instantly. Two other Channel 5 staff in the truck were injured.

The woman’s only excuse was the bus was driving too slowly and that, when she’d overtaken the bus, she had not seen the Channel 5 truck in time to brake. Of course, she and her passengers were only slightly injured while Sunet Thawaree was killed.

What happened in the accident?

Thais are some of the world’s worst drivers. That’s a given fact. Thais also drive too fast, particularly for their driving skill level, and often overtake on the inside of a vehicle, meaning they’re actually overtaking a moving vehicle on the shoulder.

As several of my Thai friends have already pointed out when they talked about this accident, when you hit a car parked on the side of the road while you’re overtaking a bus, 90 percent of the time you’re probably illegally overtaking on the shoulder. And, when you do, innocent people sometimes die.

The ‘seven dangerous days of Songkran’ began today. The death of Channel 5 cameraman, Sunet Thawaree, was one of the first reported. Believe me, it will not be the last.

My only wish is, if anyone has to die, it’s the idiots who drink and drive, drive too fast or too dangerously, or throw Songkran water in dangerous situations and not those who are innocently in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’. Unfortunately, it often isn’t.

As for Channel 5, it hasn’t been a good week for them. Not only did they use a photo of Meryl Streep in a death of Margaret Thatcher story, but they’ve also lost a valued, and young, employee. Very sad.