The criminal phase of the case against the teenager driver who caused an expressway crash that killed nine people in 2010 has ended, but a 120-million baht civil case is likely to follow
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This iconic photo taken right after the 2010 Don Muang Tollway collision was taken by a passing motorist, and immediately formed the public's opinion of Orachorn "Praewa" Thephasadin na Ayudhya. (File photo)
Tollway horror crash driver loses last appeal
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal against two lower court rulings that imposed a suspended prison term against a teenage driver, now 21, who caused an expressway crash that killed nine people in 2010.
The Supreme Court decision was read out in the Central Juvenile and Family Court in Bangkok Monday.
The appeal was filed by the girl, who claimed a lack of intent, but the court ruled the appeal covered no new ground.
The accident occurred on Dec 27, 2010 when Orachorn "Praewa" Thephasadin na Ayudhya, who was then 17, crashed into the back of a passenger van on the Don Muang elevated tollway.
Most of the crash victims were in this van, which collided with Praewa's car Dec 27, 2010. Eight people died and seven badly injured inside the passenger van.
The van, heading for Victory Monument from Thammasat University's Rangsit campus, hit a barrier near the Bang Khen exit. The passengers were thrown from the vehicle and onto the road below.
Orachorn was charged with not having a licence, reckless driving causing deaths and injuries and using a mobile phone while driving. She was indicted in June 2011.
On Aug 31, 2012 the Central Juvenile and Family Court found her guilty of the first charge and sentenced her to three years. The prison term was commuted to two years, and suspended for three years because she cooperated with investigators.
The court ordered her to report to probation officials every three months for three years and banned her from driving until she is 25. The court dismissed the charge of using a mobile phone while driving due to lack of evidence.
Orachorn took the case to the Appeal Court, which on April 22, 2014 upheld the two-year jail term, but extended the probation period from three to four years. The court also ordered her to do 48 hours of community service a year for four years.
Issariya Thanachawal, a lawyer representing the victims' families, said she will use the Supreme Court's ruling to file a civil suit seeking 120 million baht in damages.
Thongpoon Panthong, mother of the passenger van driver, plans a civil lawsuit against Orachorn, who never has shown remorse. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Thongpoon Panthong, the mother of van driver, Niramol Pitatanang, said she accepted the court's ruling.
"We wanted the case over quickly. So far, we have never been contacted by Orachorn. She has never uttered a word to us," she said.
Learn from listening
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appeal (noun): a request that a decision be changed - การอุทธรณ์
Appeal Court (Court of Appeal) : a court that decides requests that a decision made by a lower court be changed - ศาลอุทธรณ์
banned : officially not allowed to do something - ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ ถูกตัดสิทธิ
barrier : a bar or gate that stops people, animals or vehicles from entering a place - สิ่งกีดขวางทางผ่าน
campus (noun): the buildings of a university, college or business and the land around them - พื้นที่ที่เป็นที่ตั้งของมหาวิทยาลัย
charge : to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
charge : an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime - ข้อกล่าวหา
civil suit : a case filed a court that deals with non-criminal matters, especially a complaints made by people against other people or organisations - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาลแพ่ง
claim : to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง
collide : (especially of moving objects) to hit something violently - ชน,กระแทก
commute (a punishment) : to change a punishment to one that is less severe - ลดโทษ (รุนแรงให้น้อยลง)
cooperate : to work with other people to achieve a result that is good for everyone involved - ร่วมมือกัน
damages : money that a court awards to a person who sued another person for causing injury to them -
dismiss a case : (of a court of law) to decide that the charges made against a person or organisation are not correct or proper procedures have not been followed and the case should not be taken to court - ยกฟ้อง
elevated : raised above the ground, or higher than the surrounding area - ซึ่งอยู่ในระดับที่สูงกว่าสิ่งอื่น
evidence : facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน
exit : a place for leaving a building or area; a way out of a building or area - ทางออก
extend : to add more time - ยืดออกไป
file : to take official action like making a complaint - ยื่น, ยื่นคำร้อง
ground (noun): ideas, information an area of interest or knowledge - หลักฐาน, เหตุผล
guilty : having been decided by a court of law that you committed the crime your were accused of - มีความผิด
horror : a strong feeling of shock or fear caused by something extremely unpleasant - ความหวาดกลัว, ความขยะแขยง
iconic : well known and acting as a sign or symbol of something - มีชื่อเสียงและเป็นสัญลักษณ์แทนบาง
immediately (adv): happening right after something else with no delay; right away - ทันที
impose : to force someone to accept something - กำหนด,บังคับ
indicted (verb): officially accused someone of a serious crime - ถูกฟ้องร้อง
injured (adj): hurt in an accident, natural disaster, attack, etc. - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
intent (noun): your plan or purpose - จุดประสงค์, เจตนา
investigator : someone whose job is to officially find out the facts about something - ผู้สอบสวน, ผู้สำรวจ, ผู้ตรวจสอบ
juvenile (noun): a young person/animal who is not yet an adult - เยาวชน
lack (verb): to not have something - ขาด
lawsuit : a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups - คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล
lawyer : an attorney - ทนาย
licence : an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something - ใบอนุญาต
monument (noun): a statue or building that is built to honour a special person or event - อนุสาวรีย์ หรืออนุสรณ์สถาน
opinion : your feelings or thoughts about somebody/something, rather than a fact - ความเห็น, ความคิดเห็น, ทัศนคติ
passenger : someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
prison term : a length of time someone is required to stay in prison - ระยะเวลาที่จำคุก
probation (noun): a system by which someone who has committed a crime is not sent to prison, but has to agree not to break the law again - การภาคทัณฑ์
reckless (adj): doing something dangerous and not worrying about the risks and the possible results - ชะล่าใจ, เสี่ยง, ไม่ยั้งคิด
reject : to not agree with a request, offer or proposal - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ, ไม่เห็นชอบ
remorse : the feeling of being extremely sorry for something wrong or bad that you have done - การสำนึกผิด, ความเสียใจ
represent : to act, speak or be present officially for another person or people - เป็นตัวแทน
rule : (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision - ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด
ruling (noun): a judgement; a decision by a court of law - คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
sentence : (of a court of law) to give a punishment - ลงโทษ
supreme court : the highest court in a country - ศาลฎีกา, ศาลสูงสุด
suspended prison term : a situation when the court decides that the person who has been proven guilty of a crime does not have to undergo the punishment given, usually under certain conditions - รอลงอาญา
the public : people in general - ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
upheld (verb): when a higher court said a lower court decision was ok and denied an appeal to reverse the court's decision - พิพากษายืนตามคำตัดสินหรือวินิจฉัยของศาลชั้นต้น
utter : to make a sound with your voice; to say something - พูด
victims : people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc. - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย