Man Charged After Driving SUV Into River, Killing 7

The man who drove an overloaded Lexus SUV into the Bassac River while attempting to maneuver onto a ferry in Kandal province—killing five children and two adults—was on Tuesday charged with manslaughter and reckless driving causing death, according to a court official.

“We charged him…according to Article 85 of the traffic law and…Article 207 of the Criminal Code,” said Kandal Provincial Court prosecutor Lim Sokuntha.

The accident occurred while 33-year-old Pun Pek, also known as Sak Sarak, was driving home with members of his extended family after paying their respects at a relative’s grave in Sa’ang district as part of the Ching Ming festival on Sunday evening.

While attempting to drive onto a ferry, Mr. Pek accidentally stepped on the accelerator, causing the SUV to careen off the landing and into the river.

Mr. Pek and one passenger were able to swim to safety after escaping through the car’s windows, but the rest of the occupants—a married couple, two of their children and three other children—drowned in the vehicle.

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