Vietnamese police said they are verifying information that a driver's assistant was driving the container truck before filing charges in the tragic accident that killed 10 people and injured 21 on Monday, November 7 in a central province.
Colonel Nguyen Van Lang, police chief in Ham Thuan Bac District, Binh Thuan Province, said the container truck's driver Nguyen Dao, 33, who escaped with minor injuries, had left the hospital without notice for Khanh Hoa. He said later he wanted his injuries to be treated at home.
Earlier, Dao had claimed that his assistant Tran Thanh Thien who died in the accident was driving the truck when the accident happened on National Highway 1A. He said he had asked Thien to take the wheel because he was feeling sleepy.
However, relatives told the Tuoi Tre newspaper on November 8 that 22-year-old Thien was simply a driver's assistant and had not attended any training for taking a driving test.
At around 2 a.m., the container truck brushed against a bus going in the opposite direction before crashing headlong into a 54-seater behind it.
The bus burst into flames and was reduced to ashes, and mangled remains of the chassis was all that was left of it. Eight passengers died on the spot. Two other passengers died after being taken to the hospital.
The bus driver and the container truck's driver's assistant were among the dead. Twenty-one were hospitalized and five others treated for minor injuries, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.