The driver of the truck that barreled out of control into a group of students riding scooters on their campus yesterday has been charged with reckless driving.
Bang Khen police said 37-year-old Rattawit Sarawootwinai was extremely distressed during two hours of questioning Thursday afternoon following the crash, terrible footage of which spread widely online.
Lt. Col. Sarawit Butdee, an investigator at the Bang Khen Police Station, told reporters that Rattawit was “sad and stressed” and even suicidal after the incident. Officials and relatives at the station reportedly had to calm him down.
Rattawit told police that he was driving at about 80kph through Kasetsart University toward a bank located on campus. When he got to where the crash occurred, he said the brakes in the truck did not respond and he was unable to control the car.
Why was he driving dangerously fast on a school campus? The police did not say.
But Rattawit was reportedly ready with another excuse: He usually takes his shoes off while driving, and they may have become stuck under the brake pedal.
เกิดเหตุรถชนใน ม.เกษตร บางเขน เบื้องต้นสาหัส 1 เจ็บ 5 ตำรวจ สน.บางเขน เข้าตรวจสอบ นำตัวผู้ได้รับบาดเจ็บส่งรักษา รพ. pic.twitter.com/UEjfoPE746
— AMM_RATTANAKORN (@Ammnakarach) October 24, 2019
Col. Sarawit said police would determine whether the fault was with the vehicle or driver. No alcohol or drugs were found in Rattawit’s system. He is an employee of the National Park Association.
He currently faces one charge of injurious reckless driving.
Rattawit reportedly said he is ready to be held accountable. His insurance company was in the process of negotiating with the victims, according to Thairath.
Meanwhile, four of the injured university students had stabilized, but one 20-year-old male student, who was operating one of the motorbikes, remains in critical condition with bleeding in his brain. He remains in the ICU. Another female student also remains in the hospital after surgery on her leg.
The incident went viral online due to a clip shot from a dashboard camera from a nearby car. It showed a large truck driving the wrong way careen around the corner and into the students on their scooters.