British expat Danny Glass has denied the charge by Phuket Police of reckless driving causing death for the motorbike accident that killed his long-term partner, Brit mommy vlogger Sophie Anderson, who was six months pregnant with their child.
He is calling for donations to help fund his legal defense.
Glass was formally charged at Thalang Police Station on Saturday.
Anderson was riding pillion on Glass’s motorbike when she spilled onto Thepkrasattri Road in Thalang and was crushed by an 18-wheeled truck on May 8, leaving her 5-year-old son Shaye without a mother.
The driver of the truck, Nattawoot Kimchue, 30, from Phang Nga Province, initially fled the scene but later surrendered himself to police. He was also charged with reckless driving by Thalang Police on Saturday.
Glass explained on his YouTube channel on Sunday: “The police are trying to give me a charge of reckless driving, which I do not agree with whatsoever, because I was driving under the speed limit. I was driving in a straight line. I wasn’t doing anything illegal on the bike. So yeah, it is a wrong accusation that I have refused as of yesterday. It was an accident. It was not the driver’s fault that he ran her over, it was an accident on his side and on my side. No one is to blame. It was just one of those freak accidents that happen,” Glass said.
“I need to raise funds for legal help and lawyers to fight the case against me over Sophie’s accidental death,” he said in a second video on Sunday.
“Any amount of money helps,” he said. “Please help me. I really need your help.”
An appeal page has been set up on YouCaring.com with a target of raising GBP7,000 (more than THB300,000) to pay for legal fees.
As of today, the appeal had raised GBP1,275 (just over THB56,000).
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Sanit Nookong of the Thalang Police confirmed that police are still in the process of compiling the case file. “We have yet to complete the case file before sending it to the Public Prosecutor. Then the Public Prosecutor will decide if it goes to court,” he explained.
“No bail was required. We are holding his passport and we are confident Glass will keep his word and not run away,” Col. Sanit added.
If he accepted the charge, the consequences are not likely to be steep. Though Section 291 of the Thai Criminal Code states that the maximum punishment Glass could face for reckless driving causing death is a ten-year jail term and/or a fine of THB20,000, in most cases, the result is smaller fines and suspended sentences.
This case echoes an incident in early February when Australian tourist Thomas Keating, 22, was charged with reckless driving causing death after an accident that resulted in the death of his girlfriend Emily Jayne Collie, 20. The two crashed their separate jet-skis into each other off Kata Beach in southern Phuket.
Thomas Keating was handed down by court a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined THB5,000 for reckless driving causing death before returning to Australia.
However, with Glass, it may be more a matter of principle. “I don’t want to be accused of something that I do not agree with. It was an accident.”
Story: The Phuket News
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!