Officer who killed doctor faces another charge

Officer who killed doctor faces another charge

Speeding added to long list in case that has sparked calls for better pedestrian safety

A picture of Dr Waraluck Supawatjariyakul is seen on a wreath during her funeral rite at Wat Phra Sri Mahathat in Bang Khen district of Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A picture of Dr Waraluck Supawatjariyakul is seen on a wreath during her funeral rite at Wat Phra Sri Mahathat in Bang Khen district of Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Police will press a fresh charge of driving over the speed limit against a junior crowd control officer who killed a doctor on a zebra crossing.

An investigation found that the Ducati motorcycle driven by Pol L/Cpl Norawich Buadok was travelling between 108 and 128 kilometres per hour when it struck ophthalmologist Waraluck Supawatjariyakul on Jan 21.

The additional charge would bring to eight the total number faced by the officer, said Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) spokesman Pol Maj Gen Jirasant Kaewsaeng-ek. The other charges are:

  • Reckless driving causing death
  • Using a vehicle without a licence plate
  • Failing to keep his motorcycle in the left lane
  • Failing to give way to someone using a pedestrian crossing
  • Using a vehicle with unpaid annual registration tax
  • Using a vehicle that lacked required equipment
  • Not having third-party vehicle insurance.

Dr Waraluck was struck and killed while she was crossing Phaya Thai Road in Ratchathewi district of Bangkok.

Pol L/Cpl Norawich, who was off duty at the time of the accident, has been placed on leave until Monday. His unit, the Protection and Crowd Control Division of the MPB, is conducting a disciplinary investigation, said Pol Maj Gen Jirasant, who is also the deputy commissioner of the bureau.

The death of the doctor has shocked the public and drawn renewed attention to the risks pedestrians take when they try to cross roads, even at places designed for that purpose.

Safety advocates this week called on the government to seek changes in the law to also impose manslaughter charges against those who violate pedestrian crossing safety rules.


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