Miss Universe Myanmar finalist Ei Phyo Thwe was killed Monday morning in an accident on the Rangoon-Mandalay Highway, dubbed Burma’s “Death Highway” for its high rate of traffic fatalities among motorists traveling between the country’s two biggest cities.
The accident occurred when the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado she was driving overturned near the highway’s Milestone 97, according to information posted on the Facebook page of Burma’s Ministry of Construction.
Ei Phyo Thwe, who represented the southern city of Moulmein in the Miss Universe Myanmar contest, was killed immediately. She was 24 years old.
One other passenger, believed to be Ei Phyo Thwe’s mother, died later at a hospital in Myo Chaung, Pegu Division. Other passengers were also treated for injuries at the hospital.
According to reports, five people — four women and one man — were in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Road safety is a growing problem in Burma, where nearly 500 traffic fatalities were recorded last month alone. This month is expected to be at least as deadly, as the country’s roads fill with Thingyan revelers.