Deadline set for B41m payment in Praewa case

Deadline set for B41m payment in Praewa case

๋Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin (right) holds talks with related parties in the Praewa case at the Justice Ministry in Bangkok on Tuesday. He assured the ministry was supporting the legal execution for 41-million-baht damages in the Praewa tollway crash case. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
๋Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin (right) holds talks with related parties in the Praewa case at the Justice Ministry in Bangkok on Tuesday. He assured the ministry was supporting the legal execution for 41-million-baht damages in the Praewa tollway crash case. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

Four defendants in the Praewa tollway crash in 2010 are to pay 41 million baht in damages and interest to 25 plaintiffs by Aug 28, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on Tuesday.

The minister referred to Orachorn "Praewa" Thephasadin na Ayudhya, her parents and another person who owned the private car Praewa drove before the crash. The impact killed and injured several people on a passenger van on the elevated Din Daeng-Don Muang tollway in Bangkok's Bang Khen district in December 2010.

Mr Somsak said that the Supreme Civil Court's orders were posted at the defendants' residences early this month. Three in the Praewa family must pay 21.9 million baht and the owner of the car who let her drive it despite her young age of 16 at the time must share the responsibility by paying 2.8 million baht.

When 7.5% annual interest from the day of the crash, Dec 27, 2010, was taken into account, the damages rose to about 41 million baht, the minister said.

If the compensation is not paid within the Aug 28 deadline, enforcement of the orders will start. The Execution Department will auction off the convicts' assets. If the defendants sell their assets by themselves before that happens, they will likely get better prices, Mr Somsak said.

The Justice Ministry through its justice fund would pay for the execution process, he said.

Kornsut Khorphuangklang, director of Thammasat University's law centre, said the centre had not received any contact from the defendants' lawyers and looked forward to the execution process. The law centre represented the plaintiffs as most victims in the crashed passenger van were students and staff of the university's Rangsit campus.

The plaintiffs' lawyer team was ready to search for the defendants' assets, he said.

On the late night of Dec 27 of 2010, Orachorn drove the car into the rear of a passenger van at high speed on the Don Muang Tollway near Kasetsart University. Nine people were killed, many falling to the ground below the elevated tollway, and others in the van were injured.

Orachorn was only slightly injured. She was 16 at the time, and not eligible to hold a licence.

In April 2014, the Appeal Court sentenced her to two years in jail, suspended the sentence for four years, put her on probation for three years, and ordered her to do 144 hours of community service over the three years.

She was prohibited from driving until the age of 25, her age this year. The Supreme Court dismissed her appeal. The relevant civil case was finalised on May 8.


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