BANGKOK — After nine years in court, representatives of a wealthy teen convicted of killing nine people in a car crash in 2010 have partially paid compensation to victims’ families.
On Tuesday, the legal representatives of Orachorn “Praewa” Thephasadin Na Ayudhya brought a 41.7 million baht cheque to the Civil Court to pay the compensation owed to the victims of a car crash in which Praewa drove into the back of a university van.
However, there remains 800,000 baht in outstanding compensation. The Supreme Court on May 8 had ordered Praewa, her family, and the man who let Praewa borrow his car on the night of the accident to collectively pay 25 million baht, with 7.5 percent interest, to the families of the victims.
The cheque, presented by lawyer Decha Kittivittayanan and actor Kanchai “Noom” Kamnerdploy, cut close to the deadline of August 28, after which assets owned by Praewa’s family would have been seized.
Neither Praewa nor her family were present at the court. Praewa’s mother, Laddawan Thephasadin Na Ayudhya, instead gave a phone interview on Channel 3 afterwards explaining that the family would like to keep distance from the press to avoid unintentionally disturbing the victims. She promised to pay off the remaining 800,000 baht as soon as possible.
Although Praewa was originally obliged to pay the compensation within 30 days of the verdict, none of the victims received a baht until they took to the media with their story on July 15, igniting a fresh wave of public outrage.
Thawin Chaotiang, the adoptive mother of the victim Sastra Chaotiang, was delighted to hear the news of the compensation.
“Thank you everyone, including the press, for helping us out,” Thawin said. “I will use the money to make merit, pay for my healthcare and my funeral, as I lost my siblings who would have taken care of me. It’s not that big sum of money.”
Justice minister Somsak Thepsuthin said on Tuesday that the case will be settled once all the compensation has been paid.
Over the past month, Praewa family appeared to be in a scramble to pay the compensation. On July 18, Praewa’s mother offered to sell plots of land in Prachuap Khiri Khan worth 105 million baht and a house in Muang Thong Thani reportedly worth 20 million baht to raise funds. However, her efforts failed as buyers turned down the offers.
Kanchai has claimed that Praewa’s family had to borrow from friends and relatives in order to fund the cheque. Although he is neither directly involved in the case nor a member of Praewa’s family, Kanchai was asked by Laddawan to act as a middleman due to his role hosting a TV show on which she gave an interview on July 18.
Praewa, who is now known as Rawinpirom Arunwong, was 16 and without a driver’s license when she crashed her car into the back of a Thammasat University van on Don Muang Tollway, killing nine people onboard while wounding several others.