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Rich drunk driving Benz businessman buys off family for 45 million baht in death of cop and wife

The factory owner who killed a senior police man and his wife and injured their daughter while driving his Mercedes Benz drunk has paid off the deceased’s family to the tune of 45 million baht.  

The victim’s mother said she is satisfied and that’s an end to it. The drunk man was contrite and has paid all bills and even bought the family a new car. He has turned away from drink, has stopped driving and now just drinks coffee, she said.  The accident left Lt Col Jatuporn Ngamsuwitchakun and his wife Nuchanat dead and their twelve year old daughter Piyapha in hospital. Their Suzuki Swift was smashed into by Somchai Werotphiphat, 56, who had been drinking at a golf club. He was reportedly belligerent at the scene at at the hospital but has since calmed down.  Yesterday Somchai – the owner of a large factory and referred to as “Sia Somchai by Thai Rath” – and his lawyer Wirawut Bamrungjai met the families of Jatuporn and Nuchanat in the presence of Capt Phitak Phoonphuttha at Saladaeng police station.  They were there to finalize the financial terms of the settlement.  It was agreed that Somchai would pay Jatuporn’s mother 2.5 million and Nuchanat’s elders 2.5 million baht.  Jatuporn’s two children Suphapitcha, 15, and Piyapha, 12, will each get 15 million baht. As they are minors the money will be administered by the court until they are adults.  Piyapha has recovered from her injuries and is now back at school.  Jatuporn’s mother told Thai Rath that her son was a forgiving kind of person and he would have wanted an out of court settlement. She said that in addition to the money terms agreed Somchai has paid Piyapha’s 1.5 million baht hospital bills, cleared family credit card debt to the tune of 5 million baht and even bought them a new red plate Toyota Fortuner.  It all came to about a 45 million baht settlement, she said.  She said that Somchai was sorry for what he had done and has stopped driving and has his own driver now who ferries him around. He has also given up alcohol and just drinks coffee, she said.  He has offered her grandchildren jobs at his company in the future. He knows how they feel as he has two daughters of his own, she said. Now she wanted this settlement to be an end to it.  Capt Phitak said that the court is yet to consider five charges before it related to Somchai. In the light of the recovery of the couple’s daughter and the financial settlement it will be up to the court what to do in relation to the criminal charges.  Thaivisa notes that at the time of the accident some police were calling for charges of murder but these were subsequently believed to have been dropped.  Thaivisa further notes that financial settlements and criminal charges are separate but the courts often adjust their sentences bearing in mind what agreements are made between those concerned.  

Thai VisaThai Rath

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