Thai-English actress Anna Reese was charged with reckless driving resulting in death this afternoon after walking away early this morning from an accident in which she killed a police officer.
The 27-year-old actress, whose legal name is Anna Hamblaouris, turned herself in at the Prawet Police Station in Bangkok this afternoon after driving her Mercedes at high speed into the parked police car and killing Sub. Lt. Napadol Wongbandit, 44, of the Suphan Buri Police Department.
Anna, who suffered only minor injuries, was allowed to walk away from the scene of the crime after telling responding police officers she was too upset to answer questions or go with them to the station.
This afternoon, she told reporters that she was on her way to pick up food in the Pattanakarn area and was driving at 100kph when a motorbike cut in front of her, causing her to rear-end the police car.
Anna said she wasn’t drunk but was behaving bizarrely after she saw the lifeless body of the officer. She said she wanted to go home to calm down first and get treatment for a wound on her arm.
“I’m very sorry about what happened. I’m prepared to help the family of the deceased in any way that I can,” Anna said in tears. “After the case, I’d like to practice Dhamma to find peace. I’d like my accident to be a lesson for other people.”
A security guard who reportedly witnessed the accident this morning said he saw what appeared to be a large motorcycle and Mercedes racing on the motorway until she hit the vehicle, and the motorcycle fled the scene.
Most accounts place the accident around 3am. After she turned herself in about 1:30pm today, Anna was finally tested for drugs and alcohol at Sirindhorn Hospital. She tested negative for drug use and authorities said it would take seven days to get the results of the alcohol test.
Police Col. Metha Jiamkraisri, commander of the Prawet Police Dept., said he will appoint a committee to question the officer responsible for releasing Anna from the crime scene this morning. The officer, who is not identified, could face disciplinary punishments, Daily News reported.
If convicted, Anna could face 10 years in jail and another six months for not cooperating with police at the scene.
Public skepticism about justice in such cases are high after similar incidents involving high-profile or wealthy drivers have gone unpunished.
In 2012 a Thonglor police officer was killed when 28-year-old Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya slammed into his motorcycle at 200kph. Vorayuth has avoided arrest ever since in a case that tops many lists as one of the nation’s worst cases of privilege and injustice.
Last month the criminal case formally ended against a young woman who at 16 caused the deaths of nine people in a road accident while she was driving without a license. She had to do some hours of community service.