Four men and a 2-year-old boy were killed Friday afternoon in Battambang province when the Toyota Camry they were riding in smashed into a gasoline truck, authorities said.
The Camry was speeding and swerved into oncoming traffic on National Road 5 in Mong Russei district’s Kear commune after getting a flat tire at about 4 pm, said Provincial Deputy Governor Pen Rithy.
The Camry collided with a gasoline tanker, which dragged the car backward 30 meters, at which point the Camry burst into flames, killing everyone on board, he said.
“This accident was very cruel,” Pen Rithy said. “We are so very sorry that we couldn’t save their lives because it took place in Mong Russei district, about 70 km from our Battambang town.”
Tang Hak, 35, was driving the car with his 2-year-old son Tang Sokhom and three others who worked for him aboard, said district police chief Kith Heang.
The driver of the tanker truck was unharmed in the accident, he added.
Pen Rithy said the gasoline truck belonged to the Mekong company, and was reportedly empty because it had deposited 20,000 liters of gasoline in Battambang town, where it was returning from.
He said he feared the fire would have been much worse had the tanker been full.
Mekong Co had insurance, and while the victim’s vehicle was at fault in the accident, Pen Rithy said he hoped Mekong would agree to pay compensation to the victim’s families.