BANGKOK • The heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune is believed to have been driving much faster than initially thought when he was involved in a fatal hit-and-run in 2012, a prosecution spokesman said yesterday, in a case that has stirred anger in Thailand.
Deputy spokesman Prayut Phetkun said the Attorney-General’s office would recommend that the police reinvestigate the case due to discrepancy over the vehicle’s speed.
Mr Vorayuth Yoovidhya was accused of crashing his Ferrari into policeman Wichien Klanprasert and dragging his body for dozens of metres, before allegedly fleeing the scene.
He missed eight summonses to appear in court and his case raised angry questions about impunity for the rich.
He was eventually charged with reckless driving causing death, with a statute of limitations until 2027, but his whereabouts are not known.
Last month, in a surprise move, the police said that the charges against him were being dropped.
But that decision was questioned in Parliament and elsewhere, and the police, government and Attorney-General’s office all said that they would investigate.
Mr Prayut said new evidence had been found about the speed at which Mr Vorayuth was believed to have been driving when he crashed into the policeman, who was on a motorcycle, on a Bangkok street.
“This case is not over because the law says if there is new evidence, we are able to proceed,” Mr Prayut told reporters.
Previously, the speed of Mr Vorayuth’s Ferrari at the time of the accident was said to be 80kmh, but Mr Prayut said that according to an expert opinion not previously included in the police report, the speed was closer to 170kmh.
“This is new evidence according to the law,” the spokesman added.
Mr Vorayuth could also face a new charge because blood tests after the accident showed traces of cocaine, but he was not charged at the time due to a possible false positive from the use of other medication, Mr Prayut said.
Mr Vorayuth is the grandson of the late Chaleo Yoovidhya, creator of the Krating Daeng, or Red Bull, energy drink. He was 27 at the time of the accident.