Speedy help for victims of road rampage

Speedy help for victims of road rampage

Forensic officers examine the Mercedes-Benz, damaged when the 37-year-old businesswoman behind the wheel crashed into several other vehicles on Tuesday night. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Forensic officers examine the Mercedes-Benz, damaged when the 37-year-old businesswoman behind the wheel crashed into several other vehicles on Tuesday night. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Justice Ministry will speed up assistance for people injured when a wealthy businesswoman crashed her Mercedez-Benz into several other vehicles during a drunken rampage late on Tuesday night.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on Friday the Rights and Liberties Department had already been instructed to provide assistance to the victims.

Police were still compiling their case, but had initially pressed four counts against the driver - drunk-driving, reckless driving causing injuries, failing to stop and provide assistance, and obstructing police, Mr Somsak said.

Businesswoman Vitchuda Witthayasinthana, 37, was detained after her Mercedes-Benz crashed into another car in front of an office building in the Tao Poon area on Tuesday night.

The woman appeared drunk and her blood-alcohol level was measured at 257mg/dL after her arrest, well beyond the legal limit of 50 mg/dL.

The incident began about 11pm, when Ms Vitchuda allegedly crashed her car into other vehicles near Khae Rai intersection in Nonthaburi.

Police tried unsuccessfully to stop the car, which travelled along Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, Phahon Yothin Road, Kamphaeng Phet Road and Rama VI Road. It finally came to a halt after colliding with another car in Tao Poon.

Ms Vitchuda and several other people suffered injuries, with four cars and two motorcycles damaged by collisions.

Mr Somsak said the Department of Rights and Liberties was already in touch with the victims about their right to claim compensation and assistance under legislation enacted in 2001 covering victims and wrongfully convicted defendants in criminal cases. 

Mr Somsak said department officials have also provided legal assistance and advice to victims making claims for compensation in criminal and civil suits, and getting financial help from the Justice Fund for court proceedings.

The four victims were still being treated at a hospital, the minister said. 


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