Deceased student’s injuries raise doubts among relatives

After a seven year old student was found dead in a Chon Buri school’s van, her relatives are casting doubts upon what really happened. The girl, Jihun, was found Tuesday afternoon, with a preliminary examination stating that the cause of death was heat stroke. The child was pale and bleeding from the mouth, lying next to a black backpack and cup of water, said police. But, her mother, 31 year old Methika Kosonplangsi, says her daughter had bruises on her wrists and legs and scratches on her arms.

Lawyer Monchai Chongkrairattanakun says the family is also questioning why the girl’s clothes were clean and neat, despite preliminary autopsy results finding that she had died of heatstroke. The initial investigation found that Jihun was among seven other students that were riding in the same van that morning. It stated that she allegedly fell asleep inside the van after moving seats to allow a younger student to take her place in the front seat.

Methika says her daughter, Jihun, did not have those injuries on the morning of her death as she helped her bathe and did not see them on her body. Now, Methika and her husband, 28 year old Thai-anan Thongyu, say they will seek a second autopsy if the Institute of Forensic Medicine fails to clear up their doubts over the cause of her death.

The private school van driver and a teacher who helped take the girl to school that morning have been charged with recklessness causing death. The news comes as the deputy national police chief, Damrongsak Kittiprapas, says both have admitted to a negligence charge, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 200,000 baht each. Methika says she can not proceed with her daughter’s funeral until the results of the autopsy arrive.

“The results are expected in two weeks from now and the funeral can wait until all doubts are cleared up.”

Sadly, Jihun’s death adds to the tally of 129 children being left alone in vehicles since 2014, six of whom died, according to statistics published by the Department of Disease Control.

Peerasak Rattana, Secretary-general of the commission says there have already been orders by the education minister to launch an investigation into the incident.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Pattaya News

Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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