Police officer involved in fatal road accident causing female doctor’s death gets 10-year sentence

Photo courtesy of The Nation

The Court of Appeals increased the sentence of a police officer who fatally struck a doctor on a Bangkok zebra crossing.

Police Lance Corporal Norawit Buadok, riding a red Ducati big bike, crashed into ophthalmologist Waralak Supawat-Jariyakul on January 21, 2022. The tragic incident occurred in front of Bhumirajanagarindra Kidney Institute Hospital on Phya Thai Road. Waralak, flung into the air by the impact, succumbed to her injuries, sparking a widely reported legal battle.

Initially handed a seemingly lenient one year and 15 day sentence, Norawit found himself at the centre of controversy when the grieving family decried the punishment as insufficient for a law enforcer. The Appeals Court, heeding the family’s impassioned appeal, delivered a resounding verdict yesterday, January 17, catapulting Norawit’s sentence to a staggering 10 years and two months.

Investigators revealed that at the time of the collision, Norawit was hurtling at an alarming speed between 108 and 128 kilometres per hour, well beyond the prescribed limit of 80 kilometres per hour.

The list of charges against the officer included reckless driving causing death, speeding, driving without a licence plate, veering from the left lane, ignoring traffic signs, operating an inadequately maintained vehicle (lacking a side mirror), driving without road tax, driving without insurance, and neglecting others’ safety, reported The Nation.

The Appeals Court declared the lower court’s punishment as inadequately severe for a police officer who blatantly flouted the law. Consequently, the sentence was revised to five years for reckless driving causing death and an additional two months for driving without due care for others’ safety. The initial 4,000-baht fine remained intact.

Mitigating the severity, the court halved the sentence as Norawit admitted guilt. In a last-ditch effort, the embattled officer offered a 300,000-baht bail guarantee. However, the court, unmoved, forwarded the appeal to the Supreme Court. A decision is expected within the next two to three days, with Norawit held in custody at Bangkok Remand Prison in the interim.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsRoad deathsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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