Vorayud Yoovidhaya, 27, is a prominent member of one of Thailand's richest families
Police Sgt. Major Wichien Klanprasert was responding to a robbery when his bike was hit
Yoovidhaya claimed he was suddenly cut off by the police motorcycle, police say
Yoovidhaya's grandfather teamed with an Austrian businessman to create Red Bull
Thai police added a drunken driving charge against a Red Bull energy drink heir accused of ramming a police officer with his Ferrari and fleeing the scene, authorities said Friday.
The arrest of Vorayud Yoovidhaya – a member of one of Thailand’s richest families – has sparked a controversy over the nation’s justice system.
The officer killed in the crash, Police Sgt. Major Wichien Klanprasert, was responding to a robbery call when his motorcycle was hit by what a witness described as a black sports car early Monday, authorities said.
Investigators said they followed the path of leaked oil from the crash scene to the suspect’s home.
Police entered his mansion with a search warrant and found his Ferrari, which was wrecked on the front and had deployed air bags, authorities said.
Yoovidhaya was taken to a police station for questioning and the car was seized by investigators, he said.
The heir has admitted driving the car and hitting the motorcycle, but he claimed he was suddenly cut off by the bike, according to Lekbumrung.
He was charged with hit-and-run and causing a death with negligence, and was released on a bond of 500,000 baht (About $16,000).
The man who had claimed to have been driving the car was fined 6,000 baht, about $200, the Police Chief Kumronvit Thoopkrachang said.
Vorayud’s late grandfather, Chaleo Yoovidhaya, teamed with an Austrian businessman to create the Red Bull brand and products based on a Thai drink. His father, Chalerm Yoovidhaya, is an executive with the energy drink company.