Thai tourist held in Japan over highway accident
A 31-year-old Thai tourist is facing a charge of reckless driving causing injuries to others after he allegedly caused a four-vehicle pile-up on a highway in Hokkaido, Japan, resulting in four injuries including a critically wounded 24-year-old woman.
Japanese media quoted the Thai tourist, whose name hasn’t been released yet, as telling police he was preoccupied with his rental car’s GPS navigator system as he was unfamiliar with the route when his vehicle drove into a lane of oncoming traffic and crashed with two other vehicles on Highway 237 on Sunday afternoon (local time).
The Thai community page Hokkaido Fanclub (facebook.com/Hokkaidofanclub) said in a post on Tuesday morning that the accused tourist’s younger sister had said police did not allow her to see her brother. According to the page, Japanese law allows police to keep a suspect detained for interrogation in the first 48 hours after arrest.
The Royal Thai Embassy has already been contacted by the man’s sister and the Japanese police.
The page said the process in such cases usually takes around 23 days – from investigation until an indictment decision is made – hence the man’s family had to wait and see what happens.
The page also took the opportunity to inform the Thai public that a charge of reckless driving causing injury or death is punishable by a maximum seven years imprisonment and a maximum fine of ¥1 million (approximately Bt285,000), while a drunk-driving case would result in the punishment being doubled, with a maximum jail term of 15 years.