A drunken road sleeper was run over by a passing car and dragged for 50 kilometers without the driver’s knowledge in a bizarre accident in southern Vietnam earlier this week.
Locals discovered the victim’s naked and deformed body on a street in Ben Tre Province early Thursday morning, giving rise to rumors of a cold-blooded murder.
Pham Van Ngot, chief of staff at the Ben Tre police department, denied such rumors on Saturday, saying that the victim’s identity had been confirmed and the driver responsible for the accident had turned himself in to police officers the day before.
According to police reports, the ill-fated victim was Tran Thanh Hoai, 32, who resided in Ba Tri District and worked at a seafood processing factory in the same district.
Initial investigations confirmed that Hoai had finished his morning shift on Wednesday before going out for a drink with his colleagues at different locations until late in the evening.
At 10:30 pm, Hoai and a friend left an eatery on a motorbike, with Hoai being the driver.
The duo was forced to stop near Lang Moi Intersection on the Provincial Route 885 upon seeing that there were traffic police officers ahead who could fine them for driving under the influence.
Hoai’s friend decided to walk home from there on, while Hoai, too drunk to walk, parked his motorbike and fell asleep on the road side.
Shortly after that, Pham Van Duong, 53, who was driving Bui Van Hung, 43, in Hung’s SUV heading toward Ba Tri on the same route, accidentally ran over the sound asleep man.
Panicked, Duong continued on the journey without knowing that Hoai’s body had been stuck to his car.
After being dragged under the car for about 50 kilometers, Hoai’s body finally fell off on Nguyen Thi Dinh Street in the provincial capital city of Ben Tre as the car was making a U-turn.
According to Duong, neither he nor Hung knew at the time that the body had been under their car the whole time.
The men turned themselves in to police officers the next morning.
Preliminary examinations of the car by the Institute of Criminal Science under the Ministry of Public Security found skin and muscle tissues of Hoai, chief of staff Ngot said.
According to Ngot, Hoai’s arm may have been stuck between the car’s exhaust pipe and floor, which could explain the driver’s failure to notice the body.
However, as Duong only submitted himself the next day, it was not possible to test whether he was driving under the influence at the time of the accident, Ngot said.