Driver rescued from car submerged in canal 'after dozing off at the wheel'

A driver who 'dozed off at the wheel' was rescued when his car plunged into a canal in Thailand.Drowsy Wattana Lorkhemsap, 28, was headed to a temple in Chachoengsao province early on Monday morning to pray when he feel asleep while driving.His white Mitsubishi Galant careened off the road and fell into the canal, shocking other road users who quickly called the police.Police Sub-Lieutenant Adul Promsila of the Mueang Chachoengsao Police said they received a report at around 6 am and arrived at the scene finding the vehicle half-submerged with the driver still inside.Since Wattana was jammed in his seat due to the water pressure, the rescue crew used an axe to smash open the windscreen and pull him to safety. They said he was in a 'confused state' when he was extracted. He has been taken to the Buddhasothorn Hospital for treatment.Rescue team member Nakarin Seeharit said: 'When we dived underwater, we saw that there was still a person inside the car. He was alive, but unable to get out because his legs were stuck under the steering wheel. 'One officer managed to open the rear window for air, while another fetched an axe, which was used to shatter the car's windshield.'Onlooker Supapanya Watthaisong, 33, who called authorities for help, said he was riding his motorcycle with his girlfriend when Wattana's sedan veered right into the canal.Thailand has one of the world's worst road safety records. Ministers have set the goal of reducing fatalities from 32.7 deaths per 100,000 people to 12 per 100,000 people by the year 2027.However, a lack of road safety education in schools along with notoriously easy driving tests, police failures to enforce road laws, and chronic under-investment in infrastructure, all appear to hamper the efforts.