PHUKET: A man who sped through a police checkpoint early yesterday morning was seriously injured after crashing his pickup truck into a roadside ditch while trying to escape Phuket police officers.

Ekkapot Fungwittaya, 27, charged through the checkpoint, near the Thalang Health Center on Baan Reang Road in Thalang, just after midnight.

Thalang Police gave pursuit, chasing him as he turned left onto Thepkrasattri Road northbound. Mr Ekkapot then made a sharp left onto Thepkrasattri-Nai Yang Road, said Lt Col Prakob Boonkwan of Tah Chat Chai Police.

“After several kilometers of pursuit, Mr Ekkapot made a sharp left and crashed into a ditch near the Sakoo Health Center, south of the airport,”said Col Prakob.

“He hurt his back in the crash and could not flee the scene. He was rescued from the truck and taken immediately to Thalang Hospital and has since been transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital for recovery.”

Rescue workers spent 30 minutes retrieving the truck out of the ditch.

“Officers searched the car and did not find anything illegal. We believe he might have thrown something out of the truck during the pursuit,” Col Prakob said.

Lt Preecha Rakjan of Thalang Police confirmed that Mr Ekkapot was charged with evading a police checkpoint.

“We cannot press charges for any other offense we suspect him of without physical evidence,” LtPreecha said.

— Thawit Bilabdullar