At least three Vietnamese Americans, the driver and an identified person died in a traffic accident early Sunday when a container truck hit their car that was stopping for red light.
The accident happened at around 3:40 a.m. on the National Highway 1A in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc District, according to the city's traffic police.
The victims include three Vietnamese Americans, Ly Van Sanh, 66, Ly Thi Dang Thanh, 31, Pham Thanh Tung, 43, the driver Dinh Thi Hong Yen, 45 and a woman identified as Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh, 27.
Preliminary investigation found that the victims’ car, a Toyota Innova MPV, were parking at red light when a container truck hit them from behind, crushing the car into a bus that was also parking in the front.
Huynh Van Tiep, a passenger on the bus, told Thanh Nien that the MPV and the bus were in a group of pilgrims who were on the way to visit a pagoda in Dong Nai Province on Vesak occasion.
Vietnam celebrates Vesak during the fourth lunar month with the main day on mid-month full moon. Vesak, informally called Buddha’s birthday, actually commemorates the birth, enlightment and death of Gautama Buddha.
The trip was held by Tiep's sister, an overseas Vietnamese in the US, who sponsored it for her relatives and poor neighbors, he said.
Tiep said his sister’s family was traveling in the seven seater car.
“When stopping at red light, we heard a bang from behind before seeing the container truck’s driver shouted that his truck’s brake was broken. He quickly left the scene.”
“My sister’s car was crushed by the container truck. She and two others just came back to Vietnam three days ago,” he said.
Passers-by and local residents rushed to rescue the victims from the wrecked car to no avail.
Police are investigating the accident.