Six years later, crash-and-text driver Praewa completes community service

The wealthy young woman that killed nine people in a car crash in 2010 and never spent a single day in jail, has finally completed her remaining 138 hours of community service.

In an appearance at the Central and Juvenile and Family Court yesterday, Orachorn “Praewa” Thephasadin na Ayudhya, told the court that she had worked six hours day at Sai Noi Hospital’s emergency unit in Nonthaburi since June 27. Her work was supervised by the Probation Department (PD), The Nation reported.

In February, Praewa’s community service work became public interest when she sent a lawyer to the court with documents signed by Phramongkutklao Hospital that showed she had completed 90 hours of community service there without authorization from the PD.

The department said the hours she performed could not be counted because the hospital was not on its list of organizations where people on probation could do community service.  

She later admitted she “misunderstood” the regulation and did not know the PD had to designate the places for her to perform the hours and would like to re-do them. 

Since the young woman has finally, officially completed her punishment for the accident that killed nine people after the court order in 2012, a separate court order will be given for her to pay THB26.8 million, with 7.5 percent interest rate, to the families of the victims.

On Dec. 27, 2010, Praewa, 16 at the time, was driving a Honda Civic without a license on a tollway when she crashed into a van carrying 14 people coming from Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus.

She crashed into the back of the van, which was carrying mostly students and university staff. The crash caused the van to flip and fall from the elevated expressway. Eight people were ejected from the van and died. One more died later at the hospital. The other five passengers sustained injuries.

She became the focus of public anger when she was photographed just moments after the crash resting against a highway barrier and texting on her phone while the bodies of the van passengers littered the road below.

She was arrested and charged with driving without a license, since 18 is the minimum driving age in Thailand. She was also charged with reckless driving causing death and injury.

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