A Pattalung Provincial Council official has been accused of being drunk and disorderly while driving after he crashed his car into a house in the Si Banphot district of Pattalung in the southern province of Thailand, seriously injuring an 83 year old woman. The victim’s family are understandably furious as the suspect is still at large.
The Pattalung Provincial Council official, Santi Saengthong, crashed his red Ford Tierra SUV into the wall of a one-story house on the Kuan Dinsor-Huay Sai Road on Saturday, February 4 at about 11pm.
The 83 year old house owner, named Huan Chanrak, was severely injured as a result. Her right ankle and hip were broken. ThaiRath reported that Huan’s son, a 49 year old bedridden patient, sleeping on the bed behind the wall was unharmed but Huan is in hospital.
Huan’s daughter in law, 50 year old Sirima Chanrak, alleges that Santi was drunk at the time of the incident. However, the police officers who investigated the scene on that night did not test his alcohol level claiming they did not have a breathalyzer on them.
Sirima claims Santi contacted a police officer friend and left the scene in a pickup. She was concerned that justice will not be served as Santi is a government official and has connections with influential people and police officers.
The Commissioner of the Pattalung Provincial Police Station, Tanit Rammadit, later clarified on February 5 that police officers took Santi to Si Banphot Hospital for an alcohol blood test at 2am after the incident.
The hospital did not have a laboratory for blood alcohol testing so they took a blood sample from Santi and sent it to another medical institution. The results of the test were still pending.
Tanit revealed that Santi admitted to drinking one to two glasses of wine before driving, adding he was willing to compensate the family for any losses caused by the crash.
Santi was initially charged with Section 390 of the Criminal Act, driving recklessly, which caused another person to be seriously injured. The penalty for this offence is imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to 60,000 baht, or both.
The police assured the public that they are investigating the matter and taking appropriate legal action against Santi. He would face more charges if his blood alcohol level is over the legal limit.
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