Owner of Road Collapse Truck Denies Vehicle’s Bribery Sticker

The owner of the lorry responsible for a road section collapse in Bangkok on Wednesday stated that the vehicle’s star-shaped sticker was not indicative of a bribe paid to traffic police for permitting its dangerously overloaded condition on the road.

Phacharaphol Jantharinthrakorn, the road haulage business owner, was charged by Phra Khanong police for permitting the vehicle to operate beyond its legal weight limit.

Recently, the driver, Sakmongkol Thasako, faced charges of reckless driving causing injury, property damage, and operating a lorry over the legal weight limit.

Both Phacharaphol and Sakmongkol have denied the allegations, and they haven’t been detained as the police continue to question additional witnesses.

The case is set to be forwarded to the Phra Khanong Criminal Court. Mr. Phacharaphol, owning four lorries, insists he never instructed his driver to overload the vehicle.

The accident on Wednesday involved the lorry, carrying soil from a construction site, breaking a concrete slab over an underground cable trench, injuring a motorcyclist and taxi driver.

Upon weighing the vehicle and its cargo, police discovered the lorry’s weight at 37.45 tonnes, surpassing the legal limit of 25 tonnes.

The driver and Mr. Phacharaphol were called for questioning regarding allegations of police ignoring vehicles with special stickers indicating bribery.

Mr. Phacharaphol explained to the police that the green star sticker was a personal symbol, with the “B” representing his nickname “Big” and the color green his birth day.

He claimed the sticker symbolized his aspirations as a rising business star and had been using it since 2018.

Seksan Srihiranyangkul, his lawyer, argued that the lorry frequently used the route without issues and suggested the police review the placement of the concrete slab over the cable trench.

Investigations are also underway regarding the lorry’s alleged illegal modifications and a suspect accused of tampering with its fuel tank to reduce weight post-accident.