By SALINEE PRAP
THE DAUGHTER of an elderly patient whose death could have been prevented if the rioters in Phuket's Thalang district had not blocked his ambulance from getting to a hospital on October 10 insisted yesterday that she would pursue the case until the end.
Testifying yesterday afternoon in a lawsuit she has filed against the rioters at the Tha Chat Chai Police Station, Natthaya Boon-in said she would press charges against all of those who blocked the ambulance and call for compensation.
“How would you feel if it was a member of your family?” she said.
Her father, Chian Srichoo, 73, was being transferred from Krabi Hospital to the better-equipped Bangkok Hospital Phuket for treatment for coronary stenosis when he went into shock and the medical crew in the ambulance said they needed to stop at the nearest facility, Thalang Hospital, for emergency treatment.
At the time, the road was being blocked, and the driver begged the protesters to let them through because the ambulance had a critically ill patient. The rioters, however, refused and even smashed the ambulance, she said.
The ambulance was forced to retreat until an unknown emergency truck led it to the hospital. It took half an hour to get to Thalang Hospital, but it was too late for her father, she said. She added that normally the journey would have taken less than five minutes and his death could have been prevented. So far, police have not yet filed any charges in this case.
Meanwhile, Phuket Governor Chamroen Thippongthada yesterday ordered officials to find out who began spreading rumours that protesters would march with the bodies of the two drug suspects to protest against the Thalang police. No such march was held.
Relatives of Pathomwat Panarak, 22, and Theerapong Srisamut, 17, who were accidentally killed while the police were chasing them on suspicions of drug possession on October 10, took possession of the bodies to carry out religious rites at Wat Ban Don yesterday. Several senior police officers from the Thalang Police Station attended the rites. Cremation has been set for Monday.
The deaths led to a riot, which resulted in several millions of baht in damage to state property and assets.