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The son of Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa was behind the wheel when his car crashed and killed two people on the Jagorawi toll road south of Jakarta on New Year’s Day, police have said.
Rasyid Rajasa, 22, was driving a BMW X5 when he rear ended a Daihatsu Luxio around 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
“We suspect that the driver was drowsy,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said.
It was several hours before National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Suhardi Alius confirmed that the driver in the accident was the youngest child of Hatta, a close aide to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and one of the nation’s most influential politicians.
“It is true, according to a report from the Jakarta Police’s Traffic Management Center,” Suhardi told The Jakarta Post via a text message.
Two occupants of the Luxio, 57-year-old Harun and 14-month-old M. Raihan, were killed in the accident. Passengers Nung and Moh. Rifan were taken to R. Sukanto Police Hospital for minor injuries while another occupant, Supriyati, was taken to Indonesian Christian University (UKI) Hospital. Both hospitals are in East Jakarta.
At a press conference on Tuesday night, Hatta said he regretted the accident and gave his condolences to the victims’ families. He also said he would not intervene in the police’s investigation of the accident.
Rasyid was reportedly in shock and is currently undergoing treatment at an unidentified hospital, according to Hatta’s aides in the National Mandate Party (PAN), of which Hatta is the chairman.
Hatta, whose daughter is married to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s second son, has been nominated by PAN to run in the 2014 presidential election.
Rikwanto said that the police had tested Rasyid’s urine for alcohol narcotics at the National Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, and that the police had also searched Rasyid’s car. “We have searched his car, but found nothing suspicious, like drugs or alcohol,” he said.
Suhardi said there would be no special treatment of Rasyid, regardless of his father’s status.
The fatal accident occurred following a series of recent deaths involving reckless driving in Greater Jakarta.
Although officials said that they recorded fewer accidents in 2012, the year was punctuated by horrific traffic accidents.
In January last year, for example, Afriyani Susanti hit 13 pedestrians, killing nine, while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in Gambir, Central Jakarta. Afriyani was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for reckless driving.
In September, police arrested Jakarta resident, Ronald Utomo, 30, for driving while intoxicated and hitting six motorcyclists on Jl. Gajah Mada in Central Jakarta, while in October, racy magazine photo model Novi Amalia was arrested after running over on Jl. Sukarjo Wiryopranoto in Central Jakarta while under the influence of narcotics.
More recently, motorist Andika Pradita, 23, was driving without headlights when he plowed into three motorcycles on Jl. Ampera, South Jakarta, at 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, before colliding with a Daihatsu Taruna minutes later, killing two and injuring five. Andika did not test positive for drugs.
The deadly car crash in Jagorawi added to the number of traffic accidents on New Year’s Eve.
Another National Police spokesperson, Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto, said while the number of traffic accidents — 247 — recorded throughout the archipelago on Dec. 31 was almost unchanged from the 246 recorded in 2011, the number of fatalities had increased.
“The accidents claimed 43 lives, surging from 36 victims last year,” Agus told reporters at a press conference at National Police headquarters on Tuesday. He added that 305 others suffered minor injuries in the accidents that resulted in financial losses of Rp 500 million (US$ 51,883). (yps)