DETAILS OF THE ALLEGED FATAL HIT-AND-RUN BY VORAYUTH ‘BOSS’ YOOVIDHYA
Vorayuth was allegedly racing down Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok’s main drags, in his Ferrari on September 3, 2012.
The super-car reportedly slammed into police Sgt. Maj. Wichean Glanprasert.
Over the next few hours after the crash, police traced their way to the Red Bull compound.
Initially investigators said a chauffeur had been behind the wheel of the car, windshield now shattered, bumper dangling.
But after senior officers arrived, Vorayuth turned himself in, his cap pulled low, his father holding his arm.
Later that day, the Yoovidhyas put up $15,000 bail at the police station and went home.
For Pornanan Glanprasert, Wichean’s brother, and his sisters they were faced with a tragedy beyond belief.
In the days after the death, they attended funeral rites at the temple, where Buddhist monks chanted and incense burned.
One day Vorayuth and his mother made a surprise, private visit. Dressed in black, they pressed their palms together and bowed to Sgt. Maj. Wichean’s portrait.
The policeman’s family painfully grieved, but they figured at least there would be justice. Wichean was a police officer. Certainly the criminal justice system would hold his killer responsible.
Over days and months, the case unfolded. The Yoovidhya family attorney said Vorayuth left the scene not to flee, but because he was going home to tell his father.
As for blood tests showing Vorayuth was well over the legal alcohol limit, his attorney said his client was rattled by the crash and so drank ‘to relieve his tenseness.’
Facing a flurry of public skepticism about whether affluence and influence would let Vorayuth off the hook, Bangkok’s Police Commissioner Comronwit Toopgrajank promised integrity.
‘We will not let this police officer die without justice. Believe me,’ Comronwit said. ‘The truth will prevail in this case. I can guarantee it.’
But when he retired in 2014, the case was still unresolved.
Vorayuth’s attorney met with Wichean’s family, who accepted a settlement of about $100,000.
In turn, they were required to sign a document promising not to press criminal charges, eliminating Thailand’s legal option for victims to take suspects to court if police and prosecutors don’t take action.
Since then, Vorayuth has missed several prosecutor orders to report to court on charges of speeding, hit-and-run, and reckless driving that caused death.
Police said Vorayuth admitted he was driving, but not recklessly – the officer swerved in front of him, he said. The speeding charge expired after a year.
The more serious charge of deadly hit-and-run, which police say carries a maximum six-month sentence, expires in September.
Reckless driving charges expire in another 10 years if they go unchallenged.
Complicating matters, Yoovidhya’s attorney has repeatedly filed petitions claiming his client is being treated unfairly in the investigation.
Police spokesman Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen said his agency has done everything in its power to charge Vorayuth.
‘I am not saying it is a case where the rich guy will get away with it.’ Krissana said.
‘I can’t answer that question. But what I can answer is, if you look at the timeline here, what we did, by far there is nothing wrong with the inquiry officers who are carrying out the case.’ – Mailonline