Police investigators are gathering evidence to support additional charges likely to be pressed against a police lance corporal whose motorcycle struck a woman, killing her while she walked across a pedestrian crossing on a Bangkok road on Friday afternoon.
Pol L/C Norawich Buadok, a police officer attached to the Protection and Crowds Control Division, had admitted all charges already pressed against him shortly after the incident, said Pol Maj Gen Jirasant Kaewsaeng-ek, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), yesterday.
After he was given first aid at the Police General Hospital, Pol L/C Buadok went to Phaya Thai police station to answer the charges. These include reckless driving causing death, failing to attach the licence plate to his motorcycle as required by law, driving outside the left-most lane, failing to stop and give way to pedestrians at a zebra crossing, and using a vehicle without paying annual tax. The suspect had confessed to all charges, said Pol Maj Gen Kaewsaeng-ek.
The fatal accident occurred on Friday at 3.10pm. While Dr Waraluck Supawatjariyakul, an ophthalmologist in the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, was using the zebra crossing to walk across Phayathai Road in front of Bhumirajanagarindra Kidney Institute Hospital, she was struck by a Ducati Monster big bike.
Pol L/C Buadok admitted he was driving fast and that after suddenly switching to the far right lane, he sped over the zebra crossing without noticing that other vehicles had stopped, and hit Dr Supawatjariyakul.
Pol Maj Gen Kaewsaeng-ek said a blood-alcohol test conducted on the driver when he showed up to answer the charges showed no traces of alcohol in his system.
Pol Lt Gen Samran Nualma, MPB commissioner, had assured the public the police will strictly enforce the law against the driver.
Police plan to forward the investigation report to prosecutors and request an indictment of the driver by 9th March, said Pol Col Bowonphop Sunthonlekha, superintendent of the Phaya Thai police.
A video clip of the incident on a section of Phaya Thai Road, along with pictures of the motorcycle driver standing and tapping on his mobile phone screen as well as while he was sitting and receiving first aid after the incident, have sparked a furore on social media. Many social media users questioned why he appeared so unconcerned despite his actions having just resulted in someone’s death.
Severely injured at the scene, Dr Supawatjariyakul was pronounced dead shortly after she was rushed by ambulance to hospital.
Dr Anirut Supawatjariyakul, the father of the victim, said regardless of his outrage at what happened to his daughter and how devastated he is over her loss, he forgave the driver, who attended Ms Supawatjariyakul’s funeral and apologised to the father.
Dr Ittaporn Kanacharoen, secretary-general of the Medical Council of Thailand, meanwhile, urged the police to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists. He called for a pedestrian bridge or tunnel instead of a zebra crossing at points where large numbers of pedestrians cross the road.