Red Bull Heir's Hit and Run Case: Thailand PM Orders Second Autopsy in Mysterious Death of Key Witness

Growing public anger in Thailand over dropping of all charges against Vorayuth Yoovidhya has caused Thailand PM to act.

Ever since the authorities in Thailand decided to drop all charges against Vorayuth 'Boss' Yoovidhya, grandson of Red Bull creator Chaleo Yoovidhya, in a hit and run case from 2012, there was great anger against the government. The matter became even more pressing when on July 30, a key witness in the case died after suffering a motorcycle crash.

The name of this key witness was Jaruchart Mardthong. The 40-year old's motorcycle, apparently, collided with a similar vehicle. The other person involved in the accident also suffered injuries but they weren't too serious and he has been discharged from the hospital. An autopsy was conducted on the dead person's body.

The results of this autopsy are yet to be revealed. The family of Mardthong was planning to conduct the cremation of the body, as per the customs, but the decision of the government means they will have to wait.

Red Bull
A poster being shared on social media denouncing Red Bull after dropping of charges against Vorayuth Twitter

Resentment against authorities

The dropping of charges against Vorayuth caused great public anger. There is a widespread perception in the Thai society that money power is often used by the well-off to avoid facing the full force of the law. The earlier delay in the case against the Red Bull founder's grandson and the lack of reasons cited for the dropping of charges boosted the suspicions of the ordinary Thai.

This led to the Prime Minister of the country, Prayut Chan-o-cha, forming a committee with 30 days of time to examine the decision of the police to drop charges against Yoovidhya. Another statement was issued from the side of the PM on Sunday, assuring the countrymen of his determination to ensure justice.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks to reporters at the Government House in Bangkok Aug. 18, 2015. Prayuth Chan-ocha on Tuesday promised the authorities would quickly track down those responsible for the central Bangkok bombing, which he describe
Thai PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha has constituted a committee to look into the matter Xinhua

"The prime minister reiterates that the government will help create justice in the case. Any wrongdoers will be punished. This case will not be unresolved in the public's mind," deputy spokeswoman of the Thai government Traisulee Traisoranakul told the media.

Original case

Vorayuth Yoovidhya was charged in a hit and run case that led to the death of a policeman. He was accused of hitting Wichien Klanprasert by his speeding Ferrari car and then dragging the body to a spot a few meters away from the crash site. The heir to part of the Red Bull fortune, whose uncle is currently heading the company in Thailand, didn't appear in court despite eight summonses.

An arrest warrant was issued against Vorayuth in 2017 but he had left Thailand by then. His current whereabouts are not known. The case is now closed. It can be reopened but that would require the relatives of the victim to go to court or if new evidence came to light.