A senior Ho Chi Minh City official was drunk when he crashed his car into five other vehicles last Saturday, city police said Tuesday (April 2).
Le Ton Thanh, deputy director of the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, claimed that a burst tire had caused him to lose control and hit the other vehicles on Ly Tu Trong Street.
But Trinh Xuan Hai, head of District 1 police department's traffic police division was quoted by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday that the tire of Thanh's seven-seat Toyota Fortuner's right rear wheel had burst after the accident.
Thanh had hit two taxis and two motorbikes at Ly Tu Trong-Thu Khoa Huan intersection. His car then passed the intersection, crashed into two signposts and a four-seat Toyota Camry before stopping at the next section around 200 meters from the site of the first collision.
The accident injured two motorists, one male and one female, who were hospitalized and discharged the same day.
Thanh's car suffered some damages to its front, while the two taxis and two motorbikes were badly damaged. The Toyota Camry did not suffer major damage, the Tuoi Tre report said.
He surrendered to police an hour after the accident, claiming that he had visited the victims at the hospital first.
The breathalyzer test at the police station showed the breath alcohol concentration was 0.2 milligrams per liter. But the police said it might not be accurate since the test was done an hour after the accident.
Under Vietnamese law, a car driver will be fined VND2-3 million (US$96-143) if the breath alcohol concentration is 0.25 milligrams or lower per liter. Negligence causing accidents when driving will be fined of VND8-10 million.
Thanh had told news website VnExpress that he only tasted a little wine with "the tip of his tongue" at lunch, adding that he "never drinks wine or beer" due to high blood pressure.
Thanh has pledged to compensate the victims early this week, but details have not been revealed.
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