Family in Thailand blames driver for relative's death after ambulance delayed

A grieving family is claiming that their relative may have survived if a pick-up truck driver had not blocked an ambulance from rushing to her rescue due to a minor road accident.

On Wednesday, an ambulance collided with a pick-up in a minor accident in Nonthaburi province.

The ambulance driver Natchapon Sakhon, 35, said he jumped out to take responsibility and that he had asked the pickup driver to wait for him at the hospital because his team was on an emergency call to the house of Chusri Onsamphan, 74, to provide medical help.

"But he refused, demanding that I stand by at the scene of the accident," Natchapon said.

Another ambulance had to be dispatched to Chusri's home, but by the time it got there, the patent's heart had stopped and she could not be revived.

Police said the accident had caused only minor scratches on the pick-up truck and Chusri's relatives were angry that help did not arrive in time.

National Institute of Emergency Medicine secretary-general Anucha Setthasathian said the relatives blamed their loss on the pick-up driver.

"I hope nothing like this happens again. Giving way to an ambulance is in fact no less that giving lives," he said.