The hit-and-run charges leveled against an heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune were unexpectedly dropped Thursday, reports said.
Vorayuth Yoovidhaya, a grandson of Red Bull creator Chaleo Yoovidhaya, was accused of striking and killing a police officer in 2012 while driving a Ferrari near his family’s home in Thailand.
Local police said Sergeant-Major Wichian Klanprasert was riding his motorcycle on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road when a Ferrari appeared out of nowhere and struck the officer, dragging the sergeant’s body for more than 100 meters, according to the BBC.
Using brake fluid as their guide, police managed to locate Yoovidhaya’s banged up Ferrari outside his home. BBC reports that police were initially led to believe the family driver was the one responsible for the crash.
Police later discovered that the car in question was being driven by Yoovidhaya at the time.
When tested, Yoovidhaya’s blood-alcohol content showed that he was over Thailand’s legal limit. He was then arrested and subsequently let go.
The initial investigation team was disbanded after an officer was accused of covering up Yoovidhaya’s involvement in the crash.
Since his arrest, Yoovidhaya has failed to appear in court multiple times, citing illness and overseas work commitments. An arrest warrant was finally issued in 2017 after his eighth absence from court.
Police are offering no explanation on why the charges have now been dropped — though the saga has fuelled criticism that Thailand’s elite enjoy special treatment by the country’s authorities.
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