PHUKET: A drunk driver injured a Phuket motorcyclist early yesterday morning during a high-speed joy ride in his boss’ Toyota Fortuner; the ride ended abruptly when he slammed the SUV into a utility pole.

“At about 6:40am we were notified that a driver in a Toyota Fortuner had knocked a man off his motorcycle and crashed into a power pole near the Patong Municipality building,” Lt Jaruwat Tiamnaka of the Patong Police told the Phuket Gazette.

The driver, 21-year-old Thanawat Janthong from Chiang Rai, had sped down the beachfront road in Patong, hitting a steel fence across from Loma Park as he took a right turn onto Soi Hat Patong, said Lt Jaruwat.

From there, he turned right onto Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road and raced toward Sai Nam Yen Road, making a quick left turn and then veering left onto Ratchapathanuson Road, Lt Jaruwat explained.

Mr Thanawat was near the Patong Municipality building when he sideswiped Soonthorn Chotechaisong, knocking him off his motorcycle. He then drove about 300 meters farther down the road before slamming the Fortuner into a power pole..

Though the pole toppled onto the car, crushing the hood and windshield, Mr Thanawat escaped injury. Mr Soonthorn received minor injuries when he fell from his bike.

“When we arrived at the scene we saw that the power pole had been cracked in half by the impact, and we could smell alcohol on Mr Thanawat’s breath,” Lt Jaruwat said.

Police arrested Mr Thanawat and took him to Patong Hospital to test his blood alcohol level.

“Mr Thanawat’s blood alcohol concentration was recorded at 0.26 BAC. He was charged with drunk driving causing injury and property damage,” said Lt Jaruwat.

Officers questioned Mr Thanawat and discovered that he worked for a barbecue buffet in Patong, and that the Fortuner belonged to his employer.

“Mr Thanawat’s employer has been notified about the incident,” said Lt Jaruwat.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong