A hospital source says that the driver of a tractor trailer that plowed into more than 20 motorbikes stopped at a traffic light, killing four, in the Mekong Delta province of Long An on Wednesday tested positive for heroin and alcohol.
An employee at the Long An Province General Hospital, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the driver, 32-year-old Pham Thanh Hieu, had taken two clinical urine tests at the infirmary.
The examinations were taken three hours part, but both results showed the driver had heroin in his system. The tests also revealed that the driver had extremely high blood-alcohol content.
Officers from the provincial police department are still investigating Hieu and have yet to release an official statement.
At around 3:20 pm on Wednesday, 21 motorcycles waiting at a traffic light at the Binh Nhut intersection of National Highway 1 in Long Anh’s Ben Luc District were struck by Hieu’s tractor trailer.
Three people were killed on the spot and another passed away at the hospital. Eighteen other victims were injured, eight of whom were transferred to Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for treatment.
CCTV footage of the incident shows that the truck plowed into the motorcyclists without showing any sign of slowing down. The truck continued to travel with motorbikes trapped under for another 200m before coming to a complete halt.
Hieu immediately fled the scene but turned himself into police the same night.
According to Phung Thanh Nhan, the truck’s owner and Hieu’s employer, the driver was tasked with transporting goods from Tan An City in Long An to Ho Chi Minh City.
The Long An Department of Transport previously stated that Hieu’s driver’s license was issued in September 2015 and was set to expire in October 2020.
The tractor trailer was manufactured in 2015 and its inspection is set to expire in March, according to the Vietnam Registry.