Driver brought to safety as wrecked car bursts into flames

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The burnt out car driven by a 29-year-old Swiss man lies upside down on the sidewalk next to a damaged telephone booth after hitting a utility pole and truck and catching fire in Hat Yai in the early hours of Thursday.

SONGKHLA: Passers-by pulled an injured Swiss man safely from his wrecked car just before it burst into flames after hitting a utility pole and a parked truck in downtown Hat Yai in the early hours of Thursday.

The accident happened around 3 a.m.

The Honda City sedan with Songkhla license plates was seen traveling at high speed before crashing into the roadside pole, said Captain Pol Wachiraphan Chairat, duty officer at Khohong Police Station in Hat Yai. He then collided with a parked van overturning and stopped with smoke billowing from the entrance to Soi Chum Uthit 4, near Ratyindee Road.

The driver, identified as Gary Ferguson, 29, of Swiss nationality, was rescued from the car by locals just before the vehicle caught fire. He had head injuries and severe bruises. Rescuers called to the scene took him to Hat Yai Hospital.

The car was still on fire, upside down on the sidewalk outside a Krungthai AXA insurance outlet when two fire trucks arrived. The firefighters took about 10 minutes to extinguish the fire.

The car was written off, the utility pole shattered, the parked car also burned down, the front of the insurance office burned down, and a public telephone booth was destroyed.

A closed-circuit camera captured the car traveling at high speed, crashing into the utility pole and the parked truck, then overturning and smoke began to flow.

People who witnessed the incident rushed to help, pulling the driver from the vehicle as the flames began to flash.

Some people have tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the flames using a fire extinguisher. They then quickly called the Hat Yai Township Fire Department.

Residents said accidents often happen in this area because the road is curved there. Police said they would question the driver when he was strong enough.

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