Thailand’s rich continue to cause outrage by driving carelessly, killing bystanders and getting away with it

Over the last week, Thai society has been outraged at the dropping of all charges against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhaya, an heir to the Red Bull fortune, over a traffic accident that left one police officer dead.

But Boss’ case is not the only high profile car crash where the scion of a high society case has been involved. In fact, part of last week’s outrage stemmed from the cyclical nature of the acquittal, with Thai society all but saying, ‘here we go again.’

Here are just some of the cases that were highlighted in the media in the past decade alone.

  1. Kanpitak “Moo Ham” Patchimsawas – then 22 – July 2007

Moo Ham is a son of millionaire Kananek Patchimsawas and former Miss Thailand Sawinee Patchimsawas.

He drove his Mercedes into a crowd of bus passengers following an argument with the bus driver. One woman was killed and many people injured.

After eight years of legal process where he claimed temporary insanity, he was then sentenced to two years in jail in 2015 but it remains unclear if he ever served any time in jail. Kantipak’s family also paid the victim’s family around 2-3 million baht in compensation

2. Orachorn “Preawa” Devahastin Na Ayudhya – then 16 – December 2010

Preawa is a daughter of a former military officer from a well-known family who was driving underaged and at speed when she collided her Honda Civic with a minivan on an elevated expressway.

Nine passengers in the van were killed with five more injured.

She received minor injuries and was able to walk away from the accident before she was given a suspended jail term with less than 200 hours of community service.

The case made another headline this year when the victims’ families came out to say that they have yet to receive any compensation from Preawa’s family, almost ten years after the fatal collision.

The family did later payout 27 million baht in compensation after an uproar from the public.

3. Peerapon Thaksintaweesap, then 19 – March 2011

Peerapon was a first-year university student when he crashed his white Porsche at speed of about 120 kilometers into a seventeen-year-old Laotian woman who was walking across the road in Nonthaburi.

Her body was separated in half from the impact.

Peerapon confessed, the police temporary let him go home, before his family paid 250,000 baht to the victim’s family and they did not press any charges against him.

The police was reported to have filed a hit-and-run case against Peerapon but it has never gone to court.

In 2013, his older brother, Watsapon Thaksintaweesap, then 23, has drove his red Ferrari into a back of a van which then crashed into four other cars. No one was killed in the incident.

4. Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhaya, – then 27 – September 2012

Boss is the grandson of Red Bull founder Chaleo Yoovidhya. He was reportedly driving under the influence when his grey Ferrari, worth 32 million baht, crashed into a police officer on a motorbike.

The officer was killed after his body was dragged along Sukhumvit Road for more than 100 meters before the driver sped away.  

After nearly eight years of legal wrangling, the police and prosecutors said last week that all charges against Vorayuth were dropped.

The victim’s family accepted a settlement of about 3.2 million baht in return for not pressing charges.

5. Janepob Veraporn – then 37 – March 2016

Janepob is an heir of the Lenso Group who was driving his black Mercedes at more than 240 kilometers per hour before he rear-ended a mid-size car which then flipped over and caught on fire.

Both the driver and the passenger, both graduate students in their 30s, died at the scene while Janepob walked away with minor injuries.

He refused to take both alcohol and drug tests and the police did not press the issue.

Janepob is currently facing seven charges, including homicide and drink driving, while the victims’ families are asking for 100 million baht in compensation.

The case is still ongoing where Janepob is now in jail as the Supreme Court has denied his request for bail last year.

He has been sentenced to 6 years in jail for driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

His sentence has been commuted to 4 years for cooperating and the case is now being decided by the highest court as he is still appealing for lesser sentence.

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