Time to move on, Fighting for justice, Tussle over maxwell’s education

The girlfriend of a city DJ and presenter accused of careless driving causing death says the teen victim’s mother should go back to earning a living and stop asking for money.

DJ ‘ChaoChao’ and ‘Beer’.

“Beer”, the girlfriend of Chavalit Srimankhongtham, aka DJ ChaoChao, says this is a better way to honour victim Jirapats “Bell” Thongarsa, 18, who died when ChaoChao’s Lexus hit him in the early hours of April 27.

The accident occurred on Vacharapol-Sukhaphiban 5 Road in Bang Khen district when Bell’s motorcycle cut in front of ChaoChao’s car. The victim was admitted to Bhumibol hospital but died two days later from his injuries.

Since the accident, Bell’s mother, Somkuan Thongarsa, has exploited public doubts about ChaoChao’s role in the accident to demand he pay more money for his hospital expenses and funeral.

Initial reports said ChaoChao played down his role in the accident as a mere bystander, and even tried to flee the scene.

He denies it, insisting he did everything he could to help, including calling rescue workers, accompanying the young man to hospital, contacting police, and paying bills for the victim’s family.

Mrs Somkuan last week complained that at Bell’s cremation, ChaoChao’s staff, who attended in his absence, gave her just 3,000 baht in a white envelope.

“He said he was worried about his safety at the funeral, which is insulting, as if he thinks we are all slum-dwellers or labourers and will do him harm,” she grumbled. ChaoChao, who said he had witnesses, denies making the comments.

His girlfriend Beer has now rallied to the DJ’s defence in a social media post after he complained of being made a public scapegoat.

“I think it would be better if everyone got on with making a living and the mother stopped asking for money,” she said.

“ChaoChao was willing to pay Bell’s hospital expenses of 100,000 baht, and in the accident’s immediate aftermath had paid the mother 40,000 baht.

“On the day his staff turned up to the funeral in his absence, they raised the 3,000 baht among themselves as an act of goodwill.

“The CCTV images which showed Bell’s motorcycle cutting in front of the Lexus raise questions about who should rightfully compensate whom,” she said.

Mrs Somkuan said she had spent the 40,000 baht on the funeral and paying for food and travel expenses after the accident. “He said I could ask for more if I need it, so I hope he follows through on his word,” she said.

Meanwhile, a lawyer has also warned the mother against asking for more money, saying CCTV footage of the accident shows her son drove carelessly.

While expressing sorrow for her loss, lawyer Kertpon Kaewkert said if the police inquiry agrees Bell was at fault, ChaoChao or his insurance company could counter-sue.

“The mother should come to terms with things and do it fast,” he said. “As a parent she could be held jointly liable for her son’s actions unless she can show she exercised reasonable caution in supervising him.”

Rassamimarn ‘Mai’ Thanasap.

Mai goes into battle for gassed teen lover

The girlfriend of a young Thai student who died in India of suspected gas poisoning has emerged to say she will fight in his name for justice.

Bangkok student Rassamimarn “Mai” Thanasap, 23, met Chinbunchorn “Best” Koetsirikunwong, 15, while she was a volunteer teacher in India in June last year. They started off as teacher and student but fell in love.

Mai said they cared for each other for the next 12 months, with Best returning to Bangkok during his term break.

On March 7, May took Best to the airport to send him back to India for the next school term. The next morning, she received news from a friend that he had died while staying at a small hotel near his boarding school in West Bengal.

Best, four other Thai students and three supervisors were staying at Cochrane Place Hotel in Kurseong town as they waited for school to open the next day. He was found dead in the bathroom of the hotel. The Thais complained the previous night of feeling nauseous.

A Thai autopsy found Best died from a lack of oxygen to the brain, possibly as a result of a gas leak. Mai said the owners initially refused to accept responsibility, but the hotel was forced to shut down three weeks later after the body of an Indian man who went to use the hotel’s washroom was also found there.

India’s Millennium Post on March 19 reported the cause of the deaths could be the hotel’s LPG gas-powered water heater.

“Best is no longer here to stand up for his rights, so I shall have to do it for him,” Mai vowed. Best’s father has also declared he will take legal action against the hotel.

Mai, who travelled back to India with Best’s mother to retrieve his body, said she is now awaiting the result of another autopsy from India, after the first one found no traces of poison in his system.

The young woman, who told the couple’s touching story in a series of social media posts widely shared by netizens, said Best was a rebellious pupil when she started teaching at his school, but improved under her tutelage.

“We were left alone in a bakery shop one day when he said he liked me and wanted to look after me,” she said.

“He knew he was a wilful boy, but he was his mother’s only son. Best’s mum had placed all her life’s hopes in him. He told me he would have to study for her sake.

“It was a good thought, and came from someone I knew wanted to look after his family one day. So I didn’t think the age difference between us was that important,” she said.

Mai’s Facebook posts show she and Best playing at the beach, Best cooking for her, and studying in class. They also show Mai holding the hand of Best’s body at his funeral.

“Best thanked me for choosing him, even though he had little to offer, and I could have chosen many others,” she said.

“I would like to thank him for adding so much to my life. Our love will never die, even though he is no longer with me any more.”

Mai, despite the age difference, is taking the young man’s death hard. She appeared on a TV show last week in which the host supposedly helped her contact Best’s spirit.

A clip showed Mai crying uncontrollably as host Panadda “Boom” Wongphudee consoled her after the show. While acknowledging her battle, Boom said she hoped Mai could come to terms with the loss.

Pirat ‘Mike’ Nitipaisankul.

Mike, Sarah just can’t agree

The girlfriend of singer and actor Pirat “Mike” Nitipaisankul has told him to keep his thoughts to himself where the education of their young son is concerned, unless he wants to play a bigger part in his upkeep.

Italian-Thai model Sarah Casinghini’s blunt words last week came as Mike met their son, Maxwell, for the first time in 110 days, after he returned from a work trip to China. Mike, who has been criticised on social media as a bad dad, published a clip of him with Maxwell on a late-night trip to the local 7-Eleven store.

He said knowing Maxwell is around gives him the stamina to carry on.

Sarah, however, who raises the child virtually single-handed with the help of her family, said the two have also been talking about where the boy should be schooled, and can’t agree.

While she wants him to go to an international school in Phuket so that her family, who live on the island, can help care for him, Mike would like him schooled in Bangkok, where his own family lives.

“I am the one who raises him; my words should carry more weight,” Sarah said.

“Mike helps with the upkeep, but I would have him just listen. There’s no need to offer opinions, as I take on most of the burden.

“We need to talk further about Maxwell’s schooling and my expenses, because Mike sends only a small amount,” she said, adding she herself would have to spend time away from Maxwell soon as she moves to Bangkok to take up a role in television lakorn.

Mike has yet to respond to the drama.

Sarah Casinghini and her son.