PHUKET: The partner of a German killed in an alleged drunk driving accident in Phuket last month vowed to push for the harshest penalties against the driver, who confessed to reckless driving leading to death.
Jakarin Rodpradit, 26, originally denied responsibility for the crash between his car and the motorbike driven by Andreas Walter, 47, with his partner Patcharin Lammai, 35, riding pillion (story here).
“I was conscious, but unable to move immediately after the accident. The driver didn’t stop; he kept trying to drive forward over the top of my boyfriend. I couldn’t do anything,” Ms Patcharin told the Phuket Gazette from her hospital bed in December. “Thankfully, a tuk-tuk driver and local man who witnessed the accident were able to stop the driver.”
The first round of negotiations failed after Mr Jakarin alleged that the accident was in fact caused by Mr Walter.
However, independently of the police, Ms Patcharin’s relatives built a case against Mr Jakarin, searching for CCTV footage that might reveal exactly what happened.
“About a week after the accident, Ms Patcharin brought us CCTV footage and witnesses that clearly proved that Mr Jakarin was at fault. When faced with the new evidence, he confessed to the charges,” Lt Nipon Temsung of the Karon Police told the Gazette.
“Mr Jakarin then requested the chance to conduct negotiations again. Either way, he will face charges in court.”
Ms Patcharin confirmed to the Gazette that she would push for the harshest penalties against Mr Jakarin, as well as search for additional criminal charges, such as knowingly providing false information to police.
“If it was a normal crash, and the man had stopped, Andreas might still be alive,” Ms Patcharin said. “Maybe he just thought that I was some bar girl with a tourist, so he didn’t care.
“Police did not test his blood alcohol levels at the scene and just let him drive away. Then he lied and denied the charges until we gathered enough evidence against him. We will see him in court.”
Mr Jakarin continues to deny that he was intoxicated at the scene.
Part of the evidence to be presented in court is an independent autopsy of Mr Walter’s body that was conducted in Germany.
Ms Patcharin went on to explain that she wanted this to serve as an example to everyone that people cannot be killed on the roads by reckless driving without the perpetrator facing serious consequences.
“If Mr Jakarin cared about us, he would have confessed right away. Let him face the law.”
— Kongleaphy Keam
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