The Toyota Vios overcorrected and slid uncontrollably into a group of men and women that were performing work on the support beams for an overpass on Udom Suk road. As the car slid into the construction area and the series of orange cones closing off the lane, a woman frantically waving an orange flag dove onto the sidewalk. The man behind her, who had been intently examining the rebar at the base of the concrete beam, was not so fortunate.
The left side of the Toyota’s hood smacked into the man’s backside, popping him out of his rubber work boots and sending him approximately 30 meters into oncoming traffic. The Pepsi truck making its early morning deliveries had no time to stop, and the man’s body bounced off of the windshield before being crushed under the wheels. The truck driver noted with horror that the truck jumped twice as the body passed under his front and rear axle.
Chertchai stopped the car 20 meters before the scene of the accident and ran out of his car immediately. After four strides, he realized that, in a frenzy, he had forgotten his blackberry in the center console. He retrieved the device and urgently scrolled through his contacts for his cousin at the local police district while walking quickly towards the accident scene.
About ten of the construction workers were gathered around the Pepsi truck screaming at each other in a dialect that Chertchai could not fully understand, but he assumed was from Isan. Other people had also gotten out of their cars to see how they could be of assistance. A few congregated around the smashed Toyota that had been stopped by a large generator at the construction site after hitting the man. The driver was slumped over the airbag unconscious. The truck driver, about 20 years old, stood on the side of the road in his oil-stained uniform, dazed and in shock at the sight of the dead man.
From a distance, Chertchai could see that, strangely, the shirt wrapped around the man’s head to protect from the mid-May sun was still in place. However, his pants were almost completely down to his ankles with his genitals exposed. The man’s chest had been completely crushed by the truck, and a streak of blood lined the road. Besides the occasional funeral, Chertchai had never seen a dead body before, and he stared intently at this gruesome display of mortality. Before he could get a hold of his cousin, the police arrived with sirens blaring.
One of the police officers examined the corpse and began questioning the construction workers. Another police officer spoke to Chertchai, “Sir, I think we have all the witnesses we need. You can return to your vehicle. We are sorry that you had to see this.”
“Thank you, and it is no problem."
Chertchai felt relieved that he had done what he could. Boss Suanchai did not appreciate it when Chertchai was late for work. Luckily, Chertchai grew up in this neighborhood of Bangkok, and he knew a shortcut off Udom Suk.
© Paul Salvette. All rights reserved by the author.