Evidence that policeman caused his own death. New expert witness says Red Bull’s Vorayuth ‘Boss’ Yoovidhya was driving within the speed limit on the 3rd September 2012 when the police officer’s motorbike, driving erratically, cut into the lane on the right-hand side of the road thus causing the collision which led to the officer’s death. The new evidence flies in the face of early police forensic reports suggesting that the young man was driving his Ferrari at 177 km per hour when the incident occurred. The new evidence is supported, reportedly, by CCTV footage and two other witnesses.
Fury is mounting over the decision to drop the last remaining criminal charge against the scion of the Red Bull family, Vorayuth ‘Boss’ Yoovidhya, at the end of June. News of the decision emerged on Friday. Now, a dossier understood to be a report from the prosecutor’s file has been circulating on social media since Sunday suggesting that the victim in the accident in September 2012, Police Sergeant Wichian Klanprasert, may have caused his own death by driving dangerously when the incident took place leaving then 27-year-old ‘Boss’ with no control over the tragic outcome. It is being reported that this was the basis for the decision to drop the criminal prosecution against him.
The Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan ocha, has ordered a full investigation into the decision by the prosecutors in the case involving Red Bull heir Vorayuth ‘Boss’ Yoovidhya following continued public outrage after it was revealed on Friday that charges against the 35-year-old man, who fled Thailand in 2017 into exile, have been dropped.
On Monday, Narumon Pinyosinwat, the government spokeswoman confirmed the enquiry including a request for all documentation on the case and revealed that the prime minister was concerned that the media reports the facts of the controversy carefully and objectively.
Alleged prosecutor’s office document appeared online over the weekend suggesting the wealthy Ferrari driver did not cause death of police motorcyclist
It comes as a leaked report, said to be a prosecutor’s document, appeared online on Sunday which appears to indicate that several new witnesses including a road traffic expert, had come forward with critical evidence.
This evidence appears to suggest that the victim of the accident, 47-year-old Police Sergeant Wichian Klanprasert, primarily caused the incident which led to his own death.
New expert produced a report in 2017 showing ‘Boss’ was driving within the speed limit at 76.17 km/hr
The new evidence contradicts earlier press reports suggesting that police forensic evidence from 2012 had pointed to Mr Vorayuth’s luxurious grey/black Ferrari sports car travelling at 177km per hour on the Sukhumvit Road when the accident occurred were, in fact, false.
A new expert, a university lecturer, is understood to have produced a report in 2017 which calculated the speed of both vehicles involved in the fatal incident.
This expert evidence suggested that the speed of the Ferrari was 76.17 km per hour which was under the 80 km per hour speed limit.
Witnesses travelling behind the luxury car who observed the accident testified that the police officer was driving erratically swerving from lane to lane
In addition, two witnesses, who were travelling behind the Red Bull scion and who witnessed the accident, gave evidence.
They suggested that Mr Vorayuth’s car, from what they could see, was travelling at between 50 and 60km per hour and that the motorcycle policeman was travelling at 20km per hour.
The evidence presented by the witnesses included one person who was driving a pickup truck, when the policeman who was driving on the far left lane, swerved several times in front of oncoming traffic, lastly towards the then 27-year-old ‘Boss’ Vorayuth’s car on the far right lane leading to the fatal collision.
The witness in the pickup truck was driving in the middle lane and explained that he narrowly avoided hitting the police officer who rode across his path.
Witness testimony also supported by CCTV footage
The witness testimony from the two witnesses and that of the road traffic expert was also supported by CCTV footage of what happened.
Based on this, it is reported that the public prosecutor made the decision that the driving of the 47-year old police officer, Police Sergeant Wichian Klanprasert, had been a contributory factor in his own death.
In considering the case, the prosecutor found the circumstances of the collision between the wealthy young man’s car and the police officer’s motorbike fell within the legal definition of ‘force majeure’ meaning that the death of the officer was caused by events outside Mr Vorayuth’s ultimate control.
Prosecutor decided there was no basis for a criminal charge based on Section 291 of the Criminal code
The prosecutor in the case concluded that there was no basis for a criminal charge under Section 291 which would have held Mr Vorayuth responsible for causing the death of Police Sergeant Wichian through his actions or negligence.
The offence carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Red Bull firm distances itself from the ex fugitive
The outcry over the case has led to the Red Bull firm in Thailand, TCP Group, seeking, in recent days, to distance itself from ‘Boss’ Vorayuth by pointing out that the young man, whose family owns the firm, has never acted as a shareholder or officer of the company.
There has also been some political action in addition to the prime minister calling for a review of the facts.
The Attorney General, Wongsakul Kittipromwong, has established a seven-man panel to review the decision made by the Bangkok South Office of Criminal Litigation which was responsible for handling the case, now reported to have been closed.
It followed confirmation by a senior police officer on Friday that Mr Vorayuth is no longer a fugitive and can return to Thailand without fear of arrest.
Ruling party MP and Chairman of the Justice and Human Rights Committee issues a scathing pronouncement as he calls witnesses to testify
The ruling Palang Pracharat Party Chairman of the Justice and Human Rights Committee within the House of Representatives, Sira Jenjaka, has called all relevant officials and police officers to a hearing on Wednesday to shed light on the development.
On Monday, Mr Sira gave a scathing opinion on this week’s announcement: ‘As far as I’m concerned, there has been only been attempts to seek justice for the suspect, while not a single person at the Royal Thai Police Office has ever tried to seek justice for the dead police officer or at the very least tried to protect the integrity of the police as a whole.’
Case reminds the public of other controversies involving wealthy people involved in fatal road traffic accidents in Thailand who have not been imprisoned
The public see the case as another example of perceived impunity for the wealthy in Thailand particularly in relation to road traffic accidents causing death.
Another highly significant case was that of industrialist Somchai Wayrotepipat who, while drunk last April, ploughed his Mercedes car into another vehicle, a small Suzuki, killing Police Lieutenant Colonel Chatuporn Ngamsuwichakul and his 44-year-old wife.
The case came just days after Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan promised to seek the death penalty for drunk drivers found involved in fatal crashes. The businessman was duly charged with murder and attempted murder by police.
Businessman handed down a suspended prison sentence which was appealed by the public prosecutor
However, the Taling Chan Court promptly threw out the more serious charges and left three counts including causing death by dangerous driving, drunk driving and damage to property.
The accused was later given a suspended prison sentence which was appealed by prosecutors.
Mr Somchai, after the accident, paid ฿45 million in compensation to the victim’s near relations in addition to ongoing expenses for the victim’s family and pledged to cover the education expenses for the dead couple’s daughter who survived the crash.
The remorseful businessman also entered the monkhood for a time.