Police Officer’s Reckless Driving Charge Over Death of Doctor

A crowd control police officer has admitted driving a motorcycle that hit and killed a female doctor while walking across a crosswalk in Bangkok.

The victim was identified as Waraluck Supawatjariyakul, a doctor who worked at Chulalongkorn Eye Centre within the Department of Ophthalmology in Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine.

The fatal accident occurred on Friday, January 21, at around 3:00pm when the woman tried to cross Phayathai Road using the zebra crossing in front of the Bhumirajanagarindra Kidney Institute Hospital.

Dr. Waraluck was seriously injured after being hit by a Ducati Monster big bike and was rushed to Rajavithi Hospital but was pronounced dead by emergency personnel shortly after.

Witnesses said the driver had left the scene on foot after the crash, sparking widespread anger and scrutiny on social media. Spectators and readers called for the suspect to surrender and urged eyewitnesses to provide information about his appearance to the police.

Bangkok police launched an investigation into the accident and checked CCTV footage. The video showed that the woman was about to reach the crosswalk’s end when the motorcycle driver, who was reportedly speeding, hit her.

The big bike skidded more than five meters away from the scene, officers said.

On Sunday, Pol Maj Gen Nakarin Sukonthawit, a commander at the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Protection and Crowd Control Division, said the driver was an officer under his command and identified him as Pol L/Cpl Norawich Buadok.

According to Pol Maj Gen Nakarin, his subordinate, who surrendered to the Phayathai police, had claimed that he had left the Metropolitan Police headquarters for the Victory Monument when the accident occurred.

The officer admitted that he was driving at high speed. He explained that he suddenly switched to the far right lane and further sped over the zebra crossing without realizing that other vehicles had stopped when he hit Dr. Waraluk. 

Pol L/Cpl Norawich was also injured and taken to the Police General Hospital. He was charged with reckless driving causing death and confessed to the charge but was later released without bail. However, police said they would continue collecting evidence and were appointed to hand him over to prosecutors on March 9.

Results from the bike’s examination by the Traffic Police Division and Dr. Waraluck’s autopsy report will be included in the evidence for prosecutorial review, Pol Maj Gen Nakarin added.