KOH SAMUI – Lt. Cpt. Boonnam Srithanarat has reported that the driver of a pickup truck that ran over Israeli tourists 43-year-old Amir Cohen, has turned himself into police.
Sanong Songkul, 45, confessed to hitting the Israeli Amir Cohen with his pick-up truck on Saturday night, but defended his decision not to stop to help the wounded man because he was afraid crowds of onlookers might attack him, Lt. Cpt. Boonnam Srithanarat said.
On Saturday Israeli Amir Cohen stepped onto the road in Bophut to avoid a puddle, instead of getting wet feet he was mowed down by Mr. Songkul’s pick-up truck that literally drove over him.
According to the Samui Times, Mr. Songkul simply drove away after driving over the tourist. The low quality CCTV footage of the incident went viral on social network sites.
“They have to arrest this bastard,” wrote user Pongpinyo Tammakoon. “The authorities must get serious about traffic problems. Are they going to let Thailand become Deathland, full of accidents like this?”
Sanong claimed that he had already called a police officer he personally knew to tell him he would turn himself in the next day, so he believed his action didn’t count as a hit-and-run, Boonnam said.
Nevertheless police charged Sanong with reckless driving resulting in injury and hit and run. He was released from custody on the same day because “he has no intention to flee prosecution, and he has a clear residence on Ko Samui,” Boonnam told Khaosod English.
“Whether it’s a hit and run, Mr. Sanong has to prove that to the court,” the officer said.
He added that Mr. Cohen is recovering at the hospital and has received aid from the Israeli Embassy.