THE CHANTHABURI Provincial Court yesterday ordered Transport Co Ltd, a state enterprise, to pay Bt26-million compensation for 25 deaths caused by a van accident last year.
The van, operated by a licensee of the company, crashed head-on into a pickup in Chon Buri province last year. The two vehicles then caught fire, killing the people on board. Among the victims was a medical student of Chulalongkorn University.
The court heard that the van driver had fallen asleep, causing the van to plunge into a roadside ditch.
It then slid further into a traffic lane on the opposite direction and collided head-on with a pickup truck.
The Chanthaburi Provincial Court ruled on the case, as the operator of the van was a native of that province.
It ruled that the operator was not liable to pay compensation because it had not yet recruited the driver as a permanent employee. It therefore only held Transport Co Ltd responsible for the civil damages.
Yuppadee Noonkuakul, who lost her elder sister in the accident, said her father had become depressed after her sister’s death.
“He has suffered from depression. His condition is so serious that I had to quit my job to take care of him,” she said.
It is not yet known if Transport Co Ltd plans to appeal the verdict.