A van carrying 16 passengers crashed Monday morning in Gangwon Province, leading to deaths and injuries of all those aboard. Upon investigation, police found the van’s driver, a 61-year-old surnamed Kang, had a criminal record involving another fatal car wreck.
According to police, Kang was charged with a similar van crash 10 years ago. In January 2009, the van she was driving hit an excavator in Hongseong, South Chungcheong Province, killing five and injuring 11. She was sentenced to a year in prison with two years of probation for violating traffic safety laws.
(Gangwon Fire Headquarters)
Four people died in Monday’s crash in the coastal city of Samcheok, including Kang. The other three fatalities were a Korean woman, 61, and two Thai nationals aged 44 and 34.
Police said the Hyundai Grace van carrying 16 people was headed to Bonghwa, a county in North Gyeongsang Province. Seven Korean women, six Thai and three migrant workers of unidentified nationalities were traveling from Hongseong for a day’s farm work.
The three migrant workers, who suffered minor injuries, fled in the aftermath of the accident and had yet to return as of Tuesday morning. Police said they are in the process of seeking the whereabouts of the missing victims.
The rest were sent to nearby hospitals. Police said they were not in critical condition.
Local media outlets had reported that the van’s Thai passengers were illegal migrants, but police said they were not able to verify the victims’ visa status at this point.
Police found no dashcam or closed circuit TV footage of the accident, and will file an inspection request with the National Forensic Service accordingly.
By Kim Arin (firstname.lastname@example.org