Waiting patient dies as ambulance arrives late for minor accident dispute

A 74-year-old woman suffering from heart stroke died after the ambulance her family members called to pick her up to hospital on emergency basis could not make it to her home.

The ambulance engaged a minor accident with a pickup truck whose driver refused to let the ambulance go until insurance broker arrived.

The second ambulance was sent but it was too late as the patient succumbed to her stroke and died at home.

The sad incident was posted on the Internet and went viral on the social world with viewers strongly condemned the pick-up truck driver of being immoral.

According to the Bang Buathong district police, they fined the ambulance driver, Natchapon Sakon, 35, of Bang Buathong hospital and pickup truck driver Chaiwat Siengsuthiwong 400 baht each for reckless driving after both sides could not settle the minor car crash that happened after Natchapon was on the way to pick up a patient suffering from breathing difficulty.

As the road to the patient's home was narrow, his vehicle's rear bumper hit the front side of the truck's bumper causing a small scratch.

He then asked Chaiwat to let him go to pick up the patient first and settle the insurance issue afterwards at the police station. However Chaiwat refused saying he didn't want to ruin his clean insurance record of having no accidents so that he could get discount in insurance premium for next extension of insurance contract.

Despite his plea for the sake of waiting patient, Chaiwat insisted on settling the case at the scene, forcing Natchapon to call in a second ambulance as a replacement.

At the police station, both drivers agreed to settle their case through compromise by the police, with fine of 400 baht each for reckless driving.

Police said Chaiwat offered to pay fine for Natchapon but he denied his offer.

Meanwhile a few hours later, Bang Buathong police received a call from a home at Tambon Bangrak Pattana for primary autopsy of Mrs Choosri On-sampgon, 74, who died at home from stroke.

Relatives told police that they had earlier called hospital ambulance to pick her up to hospital after she had severe chest pain and breathing difficulty.

However the ambulance did not come. She died before the second ambulance arrived.

After the relatives were explained of the reason of the late arrival, they were angry, and insisted to go to the police station to meet the truck driver.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)