CHIANG MAI – The Provincial court in Chiang Mai on Tuesday sentenced has Miss Patchuda Jayruan, 24, who killed three Chiang Mai cyclists and injured four others last May while driving drunk to four years in prison and ordered to pay 2.1 million baht to the two bereaved families.
However shortly after the courts sentence was handed down, Miss Patchuda requested an appeal and bail was granted to the 24 year old collage student.
Miss Patchuda appeared before the Chiang Mai Provincial Court to hear rulings in both the criminal drink-driving case, and civil lawsuits seeking 4 million baht in damages for each family of the dead cyclists.
The court commuted the sentence to two years due to Patchuda’s confession and revoked her driving licence and drastically cut the requested compensation by nearly two-thirds.
Miss Phatchuda was charged with reckless driving causing death and injury after she ploughed her car into members of the San Sai cycling club on Highway 118 at dawn on May 3, 2015. Killing, Saman Kantha, 62, Chaiwat Yonglan, 63, both from Chiang Mai, and Pongthep Khamkaew, 40, from Chiang Rai.
She was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, beyond the legal limit of 50mg per 100ml.
The court also ordered Miss Phatchuda to pay 1.7 million baht in compensation to the wife of Saman Kantha and another 435,000 baht to the parents of Pongthep Khamkaew of Chiang Rai.
The Judge dismissed the civil suit from Mr. Chaiwat Yonglan’s daughters who sought to receive compensation in lieu of their father’s pension, which was terminated due to his death.
The victims’ families have received 1.2 million baht each from the Mittare insurance company.
Kongkarn Yonglan, Mr. Chaiwat’s daughter, said the two-year jail sentence could not compensate the loss of the three innocent lives, but she respected the court’s decision.
She said Miss Patchuda paid 100,000 baht to each of the families for funeral expenses, over and above payments from the insurance company. Ms Kongkarn said the driver had never paid a visit or apologised to her family since the accident.
Ms. Kongkarn Yonglan appealed to all motorists to strictly comply with traffic laws and never drive while under the influence of alcohol.