A court today rejected an appeal from a young woman who as an unlicensed teen driver sent nine people to their deaths on a Bangkok roadway.
Orachorn “Praewa” Thephasadin Na Ayudhya, who had asked the court to vacate her suspended sentence, will have to live with the gentle slap on the wrist she received for the 2010 accident in which she crashed into a taxi van and sent it plummeting from an elevated expressway, killing nine people. She was 16 and had no license to drive.
“We want the case to end. However, we have never been redressed by the defendant,” Tongpoon Pantong, mother of van driver Narumon Pitathanang told reporters through tears outside the courthouse today. “She has never talked or called us. I’d be glad to hear she says sorry, but she has never said those words.”
The well-heeled young woman was spared from serving a single day in jail after a court sentenced her in 2012 to a suspended jail sentence. She was later ordered to do some community service.
Praewa, a teen at the time, became an object of public scorn after she was photographed resting against a barrier and chatting on her phone while bodies of van passengers, some of them Thammasat University students, littered the road below.
In April, 2014, a court added another year to the suspended sentence she will never serve, along with 48 hours of community service.
The appeal rejected in court today was the final criminal proceeding in the case. It means an end to all those court appearances, which must have been really tough on her.
Ending the criminal process opens the door however for civil action to begin, with the victims’ families saying they would go forward with a THB120 million suit in civil proceedings, Daily News reported.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the appeal as being on behalf of the victim’s families, when it in fact was an appeal by the defendent to vacate her sentence.