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Court upholds two-year sentence of young driver who killed three cyclists

Jun 27. 2017
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By Patinya Srisupamas
The Nation

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The Appeals Court on Tuesday upheld the primary court’s two-year imprisonment of a young woman driver who killed three cyclists when she crashed into them in Chiang Mai’s Doi Saket district in May 2015.

The incident, which instantly killed Saman Khanta, 62, Phongthep Khamkaew, 40, and Chaiwat Yonglan, 63, and wounded two other cyclists, took place on the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai highway section in Tambon Talad Kwan on May 3, 2015. 

Patchuda Jairuean, who was 23 years old at the time, sustained a broken arm in the crash. Tests showed she had a blood alcohol level of 67 milligrams – above the legal limit of 50mg.

The Appeals Court also ordered Patchuda , whose driving licence was also revoked, to pay more compensations to the deceased victims’ families. The original payment of Bt1.7 million compensation for Saman’s widow would now be Bt2.334 million, while compensation for Pongthep’s parents would rise from Bt435,000 each to be Bt1.18 million each.

Following the primary court’s verdict last May, Patchuda appealed for a lighter sentence.

The deceased victims’ families sought a heavier punishment and more compensation as they said she didn’t seem to show remorse. 

The families claimed to have received only Bt200,000 from the obligatory insurance policy and Bt1 million from the voluntary insurance policy for each death.

Although the victims’ families said they were content with the Appeals Court verdict, they said they would discuss with relatives and lawyers whether to appeal for a heavier punishment for the defendant. 

Patchuda, who has been on bail, wasn’t present in court to hear the verdict on Tuesday but her lawyer applied for further bail pending her appeal to the Supreme Court.

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