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Manhunt launched for bus driver who fatally assaulted and robbed a passenger

Police have launched a manhunt for a bus driver who allegedly attacked a woman passenger and robbed her of her valuables.

The bus driver, identified as Watcharin Prathumporn, is on the run after he allegedly attacked the lone passenger in the bus, Mrs Boonpen Punyo, 56, on a dirt road which is not the normal route used by buses of the Roi-et-Buri Ram bus service. The victim died from serious face and head wounds after she was hospitalized.

The incident took place on Saturday night on a dirt road in Ban Dong Bak Nong Taten, Tambon Na Seenuan, Payak Poompisai district of Maha Sarakham province.

The Roi-et-Buri Ram bus got stuck in the dirt road and was left abandoned there. Curious villagers went on board and found blood trail and alerted their village headman who then alerted the district police.

The found the injured woman passenger in the bushes not far away from the bus and rushed her to the district hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

The victim's daughter told police that she managed to talk with her mother on the phone who said she was in danger and that she might be killed.

Police later questioned the bus owner, Mr Supol Boonkerd, who said he received a call from the driver, Watcharin, saying only that he was driving the bus back to Payak Poompisai district after offloading all the passengers in Roi-et.

Supol further said Watcharin used to be a bus assistant before he was upgraded as the driver and that he had behaved well all along.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)