11-year-old girl killed as mother dozes off on bike

A damaged motorcycle lies on the grass in Prachantakham district of Prachin Buri after striking the concrete edge of a road divider. A girl was killed and five others hurt. (Photo by Manit Sanubboon)

An 11-year-old girl was killed and five family members injured when their motorcycle struck a road divider after the woman driving the bike dozed off early Saturday morning.

The fatal crash took place between kilometre makers 191 and 192 on Suwannasorn Road in tambon Kham Tanod of Prachantakham district, said Pol Maj Arthit Sriprat, investigation chief at the Prachantakham police station, who was alerted at around 6.30am.

The body of a girl, identified later as Penpitcha Kullabut, 11, was found lying dead on the road when police arrived. A baby-carrier pack was attached to her chest. The damaged motorcycle was found five metres away.

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Injured were Suwitchaya Nanoi, 37, two sons aged 7 and 2 years, and twin daughters aged 10 months old. One of the infants, Pitcharat, was badly hurt. All were taken to a nearby hospital.

Ms Suwitchaya had driven the bike carrying her five children from Ayutthaya to visit her husband, who worked as a driver at a temple in Wang Nam Yen district of Sa Kaeo. She was returning to Ayutthaya when the accident occurred.

The mother put Pitcharat in a baby-carrier around her neck, her two sons sat in the middle and Penpitcha, carrying the other infant, Siriwan, sat on the back of the bike, said Pol Maj Arthit.

At one point Ms Suwitchaya dozed off and the bike veered into a concrete divider. Penpitcha fell off the bike but managed to shield baby Siriwan from impact before her head struck the concrete edge of the road divider, said Pol Maj Arthit.

The mother told police that she had left her house in Ayutthaya after a quarrel with her mother at 11pm on Friday. After visiting her husband in Sa Kaeo, she was returning home but admitted that by that time she was suffering from sleep deprivation.

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