Driver in deadly central Vietnam bus accident tests positive for drugs

By Trung Chuyen – Ngoc Anh, Thanh Nien News

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A bus driver who killed two people and left 11 others injured in the Central Highlands on Wednesday tested positive for drug use.
Doctor Nguyen Dai Phong, deputy director of Dak Lak General Hospital in the namesake province, said urine samples from the man suggested that driver Tran The Nam, 33, had drugs in his system at the time of the deadly collision.
A description of precisely which narcotics Nam had used was not released.
“We cannot determine yet whether he used drugs before or during the drive,” Phong told the press Thursday.
Nguyen Trong Thai, spokesman for the National Traffic Safety Committee, said they believe Nam hit a motorbike carrying two people after encroaching into oncoming traffic.
Nam’s 16-seat bus collided, head-on, with Vo Trung Truc’s motorbike on National Highway 14 at 4:30pm on Wednesday.
Truc, 68, and his wife Bui Thi Hanh, 50, who was sitting pillion, died on the spot.
The impact threw Nam and ten of his passengers aged between 21 and 69 years old, out of the wreckage.
As of press time, Nam was still in a coma due to brain and other injuries.
Three of his bus passengers also remain hospitalized with multiple injuries.
One of them, Ho Duc Be, 56, said the group was returning from a relative’s wedding in Pleiku in nearby Gia Lai Province.
“Everyone was asleep when we heard a huge bang,” Be told Tuoi Tre newspaper. "Our bus rolled over several times."
The Dak Lak Public Passenger Transport and Bus Station Management Company, Nam's employer, has paid each injured passenger VND2 million (US$94).
The National Traffic Safety Committee also paid the injured VND2 million each and VND10 million to the families of the deceased.
Last year, there were 29,385 traffic accidents, killing 9,369 people and injuring about 29,500 others. In 2012, traffic accidents killed 9,424 people nationwide.

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