Yangyel Lhaden

The couple and the taxi driver involved in the head-on collision with a Brezza on the expressway near Deki School in Thimphu are recuperating at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital.

The 21-year-old man driving the Brezza escaped unhurt. He has a learner’s driving licence and was found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the accident, police sources said. He has been detained in police custody.

The CCTV footage, that have since gone viral on social media, show the car at high speed lose control and cross over to the opposite lane before ramming into the taxi carrying two passengers on October 4.

The taxi driver, 31 from Chaskhar in Mongar, suffered injuries to the chest and stomach. The couple was in the back seat of the taxi. The wife, aged 46, suffered a head injury, and her husband, aged 48, was shifted to the ENT centre due to a jaw fracture.

The taxi driver and the wife have been admitted to the emergency ward for observation. Hospital staff said, “We need to stitch the woman’s scalp, but we cannot do it in the emergency ward because it is a significant injury. It will be stitched after administering anaesthesia in the operating theatre.”

The police are waiting for an injury report from the hospital to charge the driver to the court. The Brezza driver is an employee with a hardware store in Thimphu and he was driving his owner’s vehicle. The owner had asked him to collect a document from the DoST at Lungtenzampa.

Taxi driver, Karma said that in a flash he saw the Brezza fly onto his car. “The next moment I was in the hospital.”

Karma said that it was important for people to drive responsibly. “It is a blessing in disguise that only my vehicle was on the road at that time. I can’t imagine the consequences if there were other vehicles in my lane.”

At the time of the accident, Karma’s elder brother was at Chapcha. “I was told that my brother had died on the spot in an accident in Thimphu. When I arrived at the hospital, the other two passengers were senseless, but my brother could at least talk and the owner of the vehicle visited the victims in the hospital.”

He said that the video of the accident had gone viral, and there were rumours that his brother had succumbed to his injuries. “The video should instead serve as a reminder for people to drive responsibly.”

A relative of the couple said that they were headed to Taba from Changjiji when, in less than five minutes, they met with an accident due to someone driving recklessly.

A hospital official said that it was difficult to ascertain the patients’ condition although they seemed to be stable. “They are trauma patients, which is why they are being kept under observation, and their condition can only be determined after the observation period.”