NONTHABURI – Police reported Friday that Dr. Yorn Chiranakhon that hit-and-ran been drinking for several hours at a restaurant before he ran down and seriously injured a security guard at a gate of the Public Health Ministry last week.
Deputy national police chief Wirachai Songmetta went to the Pu Ya Ta Yai restaurant, by the Chao Phraya River on Rattanathibet Road in Muang district, on Friday to question the owner.
He said the doctor, an inspector at the Public Health Ministry, had been there before the car accident.
Pol Gen Wirachai quoted restaurant owner Narumol Sridaranont, 35, as saying Dr Yorn arrived there about 4pm on Nov 10. The accident occurred about 8.30pm.
According to Pol Gen Wirachai, the doctor was in the company of a woman and brought along a one-litre bottle of imported liquor to drink there. He ordered four bottles of soda, two buckets of ice and a dish of food.
As a bottle of soda can be used to mix about three glasses of drink, police assumed Dr Yorn had about 12 glasses of alcohol and he was likely to be drunk when he left, because a woman would not drink much, Pol Gen Wirachai said.
He said Dr Yorn stayed at the restaurant until 7.20pm. He was a frequent customer there.
Dr Yorn drove his Honda Amaze car into the gate of the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi about 8.30pm on Nov 10, hitting and knocking down security guard Somchai Yamdee, 22, who was closing it.
Surveillance camera footage showed the victim waved for help. After stopping briefly, the car moved off again, ran over the guard and kept going until it was unable to go any farther because Mr Somchai was wedged underneath it. The guard was dragged about 20 metres from the gate.
The doctor has been charged with reckless driving causing severe danger and damage, driving under the influence, refusing a police request for a blood-alcohol test, attempted murder, reckless driving and hitting and injuring a person, and failing to stop and help the victim and to inform authorities of the accident.
Pol Gen Wirachai said the doctor denied all charges.
Mr Somchai, who is a breadwinner for his family, was still in intensive care and on a respirator on Friday. He had a lung infection and high temperature, staff at Pranangklao Hospital said.
By Wichan Charoenkiatpakul