King aids girl orphaned by drunk driver

SAD FAREWELL: Supapit, the elder daughter of the Ngamsuwittchakun couple, is comforted by a relative as she attends her parents’ funeral at Wat Tri Thotsathep in Phra Nakhon district on Saturday. The couple were killed in a drink-driving crash.

His Majesty the King has accepted under his patronage the injured daughter of a policeman who was killed along with his wife in a drink-driving accident on the night of April 11.

Pitchayapha Ngamsuwittchakun, 12, is recovering at a Bangkok hospital after sustaining serious injuries in a car crash in which an intoxicated businessman rammed his Mercedes

Benz into the Suzuki Swift sedan her family was travelling in.

Her 48-year-old father, Pol Lt Col Chatuporn Ngamsuwittchakun of the Crime Suppression Division, was killed instantly in the collision on Thawi Watthana-Kanchanaphisek Road. Her 43-year-old mother, Nutchanat, later succumbed to serious injuries sustained in the crash.

The cremation of the couple took place on Saturday afternoon at Wat Tri Thotsathep in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district. The ceremonial fire for the cremation ceremony was granted by His Majesty the King. Central Investigation Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Suthin Sapphuang and CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Jiraphop Puridech presided over the ceremony.

Somchai Werotepipat, 57, who was charged in connection with the crash, was yesterday ordained as a novice monk as part of his merit-making for the couple.

He reiterated his promise to take care of the couple’s two children and said he was ready to face the consequences.

Mr Somchai, owner of Thai Carbon & Graphite Co, appeared drunk and his blood alcohol was measured at 260mg/dL just after the crash. The legal limit is 50 mg/dL.

He was i nitially charged with murder, attempted murder, reckless driving causing death, inflicting serious injuries, property damage and drink-driving causing death, injuries and property damage.

The murder and attempted murder charges were in line with the government policy to curb the traffic death toll during the Songkran festival. However, the Taling Chan Court told the police to exclude the murder and attempted murder charges after finding no grounds for them. He was released on bail of 200,000-baht.

Pawinee Ngamsuwittchakun, sister of Pol Lt Col Chatuporn, said yesterday the family had forgiven Mr Somchai since the man was providing care for the children and had expressed great remorse for his actions.

As for the legal proceedings, she said the family would let justice take its course.

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