Scientist sticks by car speed

Scientist sticks by car speed

Forensic police inspect a motorcycle belonging to Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert of Thong Lor police station and a Ferrari driven by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the youngest son of Red Bull executive Chalerm Yoovidhya, following the accident in September 2012. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Forensic police inspect a motorcycle belonging to Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert of Thong Lor police station and a Ferrari driven by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the youngest son of Red Bull executive Chalerm Yoovidhya, following the accident in September 2012. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

A Chulalongkorn scientist who concluded that Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya drove his car at 177km/h in the infamous 2012 hit-and-run case is sticking by his evidence and says he was never told the speed was later adjusted to nearly 100 km/h less.

Sathon Vijarnwannaluk, a physics lecturer at the university's Faculty of Science, was a member of the original evidence collection team and has told a talk show on Thairath TV that he is sceptical about police officers' new conclusion that the Red Bull heir's Ferrari was not exceeding 80km/h.

Soon after the accident, the lecturer said he examined CCTV footage taken from a showroom in Soi Sukhumvit 53, around 100 metres from the crash scene.

Since that was the only footage available, he said he decided to calculate the car's speed based on the moment it passed the camera.

Mr Sathon said the car seemed to be travelling very fast since it appeared on the screen at 05.34.17 and left before 05.34.18. The distance between the two points was about 31 metres.

He admitted he had not been able to produce a precise calculation at the time, so he merely concluded the car had travelled around 30 metres in less than one second.

He therefore concluded the car must have travelled at a speed faster than 108 kilometres per hour.

In a phone interview with the Bangkok Post, he said his calculation was based on the time which appeared on the CCTV, so it's scientifically based.

Two teams of specialists calculated the car's speed at the crucial moment, he said, and each could have produced a different result depending on the starting point it used.

Nevertheless, Mr Sathon said his team concluded the Ferrari had travelled at 177km/h and the other team 174km/h.

Two new specialist witnesses, police majors, inspected the damage to the Ferrari and the victim's motorcycle.

They compared it to other accidents and agreed the Ferrari had not exceeded 80km/h.


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