Relatives of car crash victims not satisfied as amount is just a third of the Bt100 million they have been seeking
THE Civil Court yesterday ordered the girl, who is now 21, and her parents to pay Bt26.88 million in damages for her reckless driving, which resulted in a fatal crash on a Bangkok expressway on December 27, 2010 that killed nine people and injured 19 others. The victims’ relatives – who have been demanding more than Bt100 million in compensation – said they would appeal for a better payoff.
The sentence was read yesterday in the presence of Prae (not her real name), her parents and the relatives of the nine deceased and 19 injured persons. Prae, then 16, was driving her Honda Civic sedan recklessly and crashed into a public transport van, which fell off the elevated Don Muang tollway, resulting in the deaths, injuries and property damage.
Considering the civil case along the lines of the criminal case for the same incident, in which Prae was found guilty of reckless driving, the judge ruled that she and her parents must compensate the 28 victims for the loss of future financial support, medical bills and suffering from injuries.
The verdict says that Prae and her parents will need to pay compensation, plus 7.5 per cent interest since the date of the accident until the entire payment
is made. The amounts paid to each victim will range from Bt4,000 to Bt1.8 million depending on the severity of the damages. The court also ordered Prae and her parents to pay for the plaintiffs’ lawyer fees.
Pol Colonel Saran Nilwan, whose third-year university student daughter Suwadee was killed in the crash, said the relatives respected the court verdict, but would consult with their lawyers on December 22 to seek higher compensation as this amount is only a third of what they have been seeking. A source reported that they also expected the defence to appeal for a longer period to pay the compensation.
The criminal offence procedure of this case had already been finalised. After the Supreme Court dismissed her Prae’s appeal, she was given a two-year jail term by the Appeals Court, which was suspended for four years with a requirement for her to do public service for 48 hours a year for four years.
In the August 2012 ruling by the Central Juvenile and Family Court, Prae was sentenced to two years in prison, which was suspended for three years due to her useful testimony during trial. She has also been mandated to three years of behaviour control, reporting to authorities every three months, plus 48 hours of taking care of road-accident victims. Prae has also been banned from driving until she turns 25.