Doc­tor who crashed into guard hit with at­tempted mur­der rap

Bangkok Post - - FRONT PAGE - POST RE­PORTERS

Two ad­di­tional charges of at­tempted mur­der and de­fy­ing an of­fi­cial or­der to un­dergo al­co­hol and drugs tests have been pressed against a se­nior pub­lic health of­fi­cial who rammed his car into a se­cu­rity guard at the min­istry on Fri­day.

The min­istry re­ceived a re­port of the ac­ci­dent in which Yorn Chi­ranakhon ran his car into Som­chai Yamdee, a 22-year-old se­cu­rity guard who was clos­ing a gate at the min­istry in Non­thaburi about 8.10pm that evening.

Af­ter the crash, the se­cu­rity guard was dragged around 20 me­tres.

Dr Yorn, a se­nior doc­tor at­tached to Health Cen­tre Re­gion 12 over­see­ing the South, was hit with the fresh charges while he ac­knowl­edged two pre­vi­ous charges of reck­less driv­ing caus­ing se­vere in­juries to oth­ers and driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol at Muang Non­thaburi po­lice sta­tion yes­ter­day.

The lat­est charges were brought by deputy na­tional po­lice chief Wirachai Song­metta who took ac­tion af­ter Thae­jing Siri­panit, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Don’t Drive Drunk Foun­da­tion, lodged a pe­ti­tion urg­ing him to over­see the case.

Dr Thae­jing said he would also pe­ti­tion the min­istry to launch a dis­ci­plinary probe against the doc­tor.

Ac­cord­ing to Pan­naphat Detch­chote­vis­ith, su­per­in­ten­dent of Muang Non­thaburi po­lice sta­tion, the doc­tor ear­lier re­fused to al­low po­lice to take a blood test to de­ter­mine whether he was un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol or drugs at the time.

Pol Col Pan­naphat yes­ter­day said in­ves­ti­ga­tors needed to ques­tion all the peo­ple who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent such as passersby, mo­tor­cy­cle taxi drivers and res­cue work­ers.

Any video clips of the crash recorded by wit­nesses would be re­trieved from them as ev­i­dence, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to a per­son who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent, Dr Yorn had the ap­pear­ance of be­ing in­tox­i­cated and was stag­ger­ing with a red face be­fore he got into his car to drive away from the build­ing.

Mr Som­chai was rushed to Pranangk­lao Hos­pi­tal and un­der­went two rounds of brain surgery. He is still in in­ten­sive care and on life sup­port. Dr Yorn ad­mit­ted to his wrong­do­ing dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the min­istry on Mon­day.

Pub­lic Health Min­is­ter Piyasakol Sakol­sa­tayadorn ex­plained that the min­istry needs to con­sider all rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion as the ac­ci­dent oc­curred out of of­fice hours.

He said though a dis­ci­plinary probe is not yet un­der way, he has launched his own in­ves­ti­ga­tion to make sure the in­for­ma­tion he has re­ceived is ac­cu­rate and fair.

Be­sides, the min­istry has or­dered more street lights to be in­stalled at the scene to pre­vent a re­cur­rence of such in­ci­dents.

The Health Min­istry is pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance for the fam­ily of Mr Som­chai, over­see­ing the med­i­cal treat­ment and closely fol­low­ing his con­di­tion, Dr Piyasakol said.

At the hos­pi­tal, Chainarong Nak­thai, the el­der brother of the vic­tim, said the fam­ily was fu­ri­ous when they saw the video clip fea­tur­ing the in­ci­dent.

Nev­er­the­less, Mr Chainarong said the fam­ily was pleased when Dr Yorn took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the con­di­tion of his brother, who was the fam­ily bread­win­ner.

In ad­di­tion, the fam­ily would dis­cuss with the doc­tor soon the draft­ing of a con­tract de­tail­ing his fi­nan­cial and le­gal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, he said.

The doc­tor was yes­ter­day re­leased on bail of 500,000 baht.

Yorn: Out on bail of 500,000 baht

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