Charges Expected In Tragic Death of Student Cheerleader

University Student Dies After Running

Police say they expect to press charges of recklessness causing death in connection with the death of a first-year university student who was made to run until she collapsed.

Investigators are currently awaiting the autopsy results on Phornphiphat Eaddam, 19, who collapsed at Phuket Rajabhat University on Wednesday and died on Thursday 20th August.

The university has denied media reports that her death resulted from a hazing ritual, saying she had been taking part in a cheerleading practice.

“The autopsy results are expected to be known in one or two days,” Pol Col Theera Liemsuwan, chief of the Muang district police station, said on Saturday.

Police are now gathering evidence before seeking court approval to issue arrest warrants for those involved, he said.

An initial police investigation found that four senior students and 11 freshmen were present at the cheerleading practice on the day the incident occurred. They had agreed that students who made mistakes in their dance routines would have to run around the parking area in front of a building on the campus eight times.

Phornphiphat, 19, was made to run but passed out after six laps, according to the reports.

Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew on Saturday asked police handling the case to ensure justice to all sides as the issue was sensitive and involved students.

Noppadon Chanrawong, a deputy president of the university, denied some media reports that the student had been forced to run around an old mine, a distance of 950 metres.

Mr Chanrawong on Saturday took reporters to see the parking area where the incident took place. Located in front of the faculty of industrial technology building, it is 37 metres long.

He also reiterated the school’s contention that the running was not related to a hazing ritual. It was simply a cheerleading practice for a sports activity planned at the faculty of humanities and social sciences next month.

The university earlier expressed regret over the student’s death. It said it would give initial remedial assistance of 100,000 baht to her family and would launch a fact-finding investigation into the incident.