As you may already know, we have been serving the people of Thailand for the past three years, along with our two young sons.
As we were making preparations to move forward on some of these key decisions about the future, Jacqueline was involved in a traffic accident involving a father and his young daughter riding a motorbike.
As is common in Asia, the daughter was not wearing a helmet.
As Jacqueline pulled out from a parking lane into a major four-lane highway with no on ramps, the motorbike hit her front right panel and flew into the right lane near the median. A combination of being in a blind spot, probable high speed for the motorbike driver, and the dangerous condition of the highway set up this accident.
The young girl went with the bike and skid to the right side of the lane. The father landed on the left side of the far right lane. Two large double decker tour buses where barreling toward them in the same lane.
As the busses slammed on their brakes, the second crashed into the back of the first. The first bus missed both the Father and daughter by inches as it went right through the lane a few feet past each of them. It was a miracle that the bus did not hit either of them.
Within the first couple of days, we found out that the young girl was in a coma and the father was on a respirator because of their serious injuries. Through much prayer from people all over the world, the little girl came out of the coma within two days, recovered to full function, and went home from the hospital to be with her mom in less in a week. She will have no lasting injuries.
The father, who is a Thai army soldier, had a broken jaw, five broken teeth, nine broken ribs, and a punctured lung. Though it did not seem like it would be well for him at first. He too was at home recovering in just over two weeks.
We had insurance and our insurance company was willing to negotiate with the family to give a settlement. In the beginning, we worked through a mediator and the local police to handle things in the Thai cultural way without trying to further escalate the discussions. Medical bills and damage to the bike was taken care of by the insurance company, which only left the civil damages remaining.
Unfortunately, because according to Thai law if a person takes more than 21 days to recover from an injury, the case must go to the State Attorney to go before a judge as a criminal case. This would normally take two months to get a court date, but Jacqueline had a court date within 2 days.
This would have normally been seen as a good thing, but because of some missteps in the process, Jacqueline was put in a very dangerous legal situation was needed to be bailed out of jail until her next court date.
At the initial court date, the judge chastised the insurance company for not being willing to settle for more and us for not putting up more of our own resources, which in the Thai culture would be a gesture of true remorse, although we had received counsel to not follow that advice but rather let the insurance company handle the matter on their behalf.
This was the wrong advice.
At the court hearing, the judge then called for two weeks to review the case and give both the insurance company and us time to do better on the civil matter before she would consider giving Jacqueline driving probation on the “criminal” case.
Therefore we hired a Thai defense attorney to meet with the insurance company to increase the amount and with the family to see if they would be willing to settle the case. The lawyer is working diligently to help bring the case to an end.
If they are able to settle out of court when the court case comes again before the judge, the judge will give probation and close the case. It is in the judge’s discretion to not give probation to Jacqueline if she doesn’t see a better effort by the insurance company and the us to take care of the family.
Update: In this post, we needed immediate help to settle the civil case before the court date as well as help with legal fees. (Based gifts that have come in and those currently being raised, this need is being met. Thank you to those who have helped and those who are currently raising funds!)
If anything is raised in addition to the settlement costs, it will be used to help transition us back the States to get help for our son, Aslan.
If you would still like to send in support, your partnership is always appreciated. We need help transitioning to the States. Please click the link below for tax deductible giving options.
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You can also read more about this the story when it happened a month ago: