By THE NATION
The unnamed man – who remains at large as of press time – reportedly sent his van to a garage in Bangkok’s Min Buri district and claimed insurance for vehicle damage. Police have confiscated the van and submitted it for forensic investigation, Nipon said.
An arrest warrant was issued for the suspect – believed to be lying low in Sa Kaew – and Nipon expects he will soon be in custody.
Cyclist Russel Agaton Diokno Perez was hit by the van while making a right turn at the traffic lights at Hua Noen intersection on Sirisothorn Road in Chachoengsao’s Ban Pho district at 1.30am on Tuesday. Perez was only 50 kilometres from the finish line in the 1,000 BRM Suvarnabhumi Airport-Trat rally, according to the Audax Randonneurs Thailand fan page on Wednesday.
The van sped away from the crash scene, while Perez was taken to Ban Pho Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Perez, an experienced rider who had joined the Audax Randonneurs Rides in the Philippines and achieved “Super Randonneur” status, came to Thailand with his family and two friends to join the ride.
The event organiser said the cyclist had equipment which met the required safety standards for night cycling. The organisers offered their condolences to Perez’s family.
Perez is only the latest in a string of long-distance cyclists who have been killed on Thai roads in the past five years.
On February 13, 2013, British round-the-world cyclists Peter Root and Mary Thompson were killed by a pickup truck in Chachoengsao . The couple, both 34 and from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, had been cycling through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China since July 2011, chronicling their journey in the blog “Two on four wheels”.
On February 21, 2015, Chilean intercontinental cyclist Juan Francisco Guillermo, 48, was killed by a pickup truck in Nakhon Ratchasima in an accident that also injured his Singaporean wife and their two-year-old son.
On May 3, 2015, three members of Sansai Cyclist Club were killed and two were seriously wounded in a drunk-driving accident in Chiang Mai’s Doi Saket district. Patchuda Jairuean, who was 23 years old at the time, had crashed her sedan into the cyclists, instantly killing Saman Khanta, 62, Phongthep Khamkaew, 40, and Chaiwat Yonglan, 63. The Appeals Court last June upheld a two-year jail sentence for Patchuda and ordered her to pay a Bt2.334 million compensation to Saman’s widow along with Bt1.18 million for each of Pongthep’s parents.