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Fatal hit-and-run

Drunken-driving charge to be added in Ferrari crash

Krating Daeng managing director Worrayuth Yoovidhya will soon be charged with drunken driving over the fatal hit-and-run in which a policeman was killed, police said yesterday.

Blood-alcohol tests showed Worrayuth was over the legal limit when the wreck occurred early Monday morning, said Pol Colonel Chumphol Phumphuang, chief of the Thong Lor police station, which has jurisdiction over the case.

The driving-while-intoxicated charge will subject Worrayuth to a heavier sentence. He has already been charged with causing death through carelessness, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence and fine of Bt20,000. He now faces a minimum jail term of three years to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of Bt200,000, along with suspension of his driver’s license for a lengthy period.

A Thong Lor station senior officer, crime suppression superintendent Pol Lt-Colonel Pannaphon Nammueng, who was the victim's supervisor, has been suspended indefinitely, pending disciplinary and criminal actions.

"Letting him work after a 30-day period will only make his work and his relationship with the victim's colleagues even more difficult," Chumphol said.

Pannaphon has 30 days to appeal against his suspension, which was imposed after Pannaphon was accused of attempting to arrest a scapegoat for the crime.

Results are still pending on a test to determine how fast Worrayuth's Ferrari was going when it hit and killed Pol Snr Sgt-Major Wichean Klinprasert, the chief said.

Speeding would be a minor offence that carries light penalties compared to the principal crimes of causing death through carelessness and drunken driving.

Interviews of all witnesses have been completed, with only forensic studies pending, Chumphol said.

On whether an offence of manslaughter or murder should be officially lodged against Worrayuth, Chumphol said there is not yet concrete evidence to indicate that Wichean was dragged under the Ferrari for a long distance.

"Intial autopsy results show that the conditions of the wounds and the uniform the victim wore do not suggest so," the chief added.

According to a statement made at a police press conference yesterday, a large number of Bangkok-based commissioned police officers have been penalised or discharged over various misconduct offences from last October to August 22. Three were discharged, another five put into disciplinary detention, nine assigned to disciplinary duty, 19 on probation and 20 given verbal warnings. The numbers for cases of non-commissioned officers facing respective actions during the same period are 14, 40, four, 38 and 12, the statement said.


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