Praewa admits breaching parole service regulations

Praewa admits breaching parole service regulations

Along with her attentive mother, Orachorn “Praewa” Thephasadin na Ayudhya reports to police in early 2011, 10 days after she caused a fatal tollway crash. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Along with her attentive mother, Orachorn “Praewa” Thephasadin na Ayudhya reports to police in early 2011, 10 days after she caused a fatal tollway crash. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The unlicensed teen driver who killed nine people in a crash on Don Muang tollway six years ago on Tuesday admitted she had breached her probation conditions related to community service and sought permission to re-do it.

Orachorn “Praewa” Thephasadin na Ayudhya told the Central Juvenile and Family Court judges that she had misunderstood Probation Department (PD) regulations on the procedures and designated places for community service. She said she would be willing to start doing the 138-hour community service again. 

Ms Orachon, now 22, reportedly performed 90 of the 138 community service hours at Phramongkutklao Hospital in January and February this year and claimed she only had 48 hours more to complete. But the PD said the 90 hours performed could not be counted because the hospital was not on its list of organisations where people on probation could do community service.  

Col Narat Sawetanant, the PD’s director-general, said Ms Orachon had failed to fulfil her probation conditions as she had not first discussed with authorities where she would perform the social service and simply chose the place by herself. He later brought the matter to the court although Col Peerapol Pokpong, deputy chief of Phramongkutklao Hospital, confirmed Ms Orachorn had performed community service at the hospital.

Ms Orachon pleaded guilty before three more PD officials were to testify against her in the court.    

The judges ordered Ms Orachon and the PD to negotiate and make a written agreement on where she would do the mandatory service. The location was not disclosed. 

Ms Orachorn crashed a Honda Civic into the back of a passenger van carrying 14, mostly students and staff from Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus on the tollway on Dec 27, 2010. The impact caused the van to overturn and hit the barriers, unlatching the door. Eight people were sent hurtling down the streets below. Another one died later at a hospital while the others were wounded.

She was 16 years old at the time. The minimum driving age in Thailand is 18.

She was charged with driving without a licence and reckless driving causing death and injury.

She was eventually sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for four years. As a condition of her release, she was ordered to perform 48 hours of community service each year for three years, or 144 hours.

Six of the 144 hours has been deducted because Ms Orachon donated blood, which earned her six community service hours. 

Pol Col Narat said in March Ms Orachon claimed she was afraid that she might be in danger if she performed community service elsewhere. When authorities alerted her family that she had failed to meet her probation condition, the family petitioned the Office of the Ombudsman, accusing probation authorities of threatening her, he said.

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