Alcohol Factor In Fatal Crash, Police Say

Five young men were killed on Sunday night when an alleged drunk driver traveling at high-speed plowed a four-wheel-drive vehicle into three motorcycles on Russian Boulevard, police said on Monday.

Following a night of heavy drinking, off duty police officer Ath Chiv, 33, was driving down Rus­sian Boulevard in a friend’s borrowed Toyota Forerunner when he smashed into the motorcycles, Chev Hak, chief of the municipal police traffic accident unit, said on Monday.

Three of the five dead were students at the Build Bright Univer­sity. Two other students remain in critical condition following the crash, police said.

“[Ath Chiv], who crashed in to the three motorbikes, is not the owner of the car. He borrowed the car. He got heavily drunk and he is not good at driving,” Chev Hak said.

According to police, the vehicle crashed into the first motorcycle killing the driver and passenger instantly. The impact blew out the front tire of the car causing it to crash into two more motorcycles, killing three more people.

Chev Hak said the dead were Phin Ty, 22, Chim Chheng, 22, Kong Touch, 24, Nget Bunlat, 24, and Uy Khim, 20. Those still in critical condition are Dy Sambor, 23, and Chhun Sokha, 21.

Chev Hak said he expects the number of Phnom Penh traffic accidents to sky rocket in 2003 compared to 2002, particularly due to drunk driving after dark.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief Suon Chheangly told a meeting at City Hall on Monday that the overall number of traffic accidents between January and December 2003 had decreased to 559 compared to 622 in 2002.

The death-toll on Phnom Penh’s roads had, however, leaped from 108 last year to 147 this year. It is not known if the latest five deaths were included in the report. A further 515 people were seriously in­jured in accidents, Suon Chhean­gly said.

The surge in road carnage was due to a lack of respect for traffic rules, high speeds and drunk driving, he said.

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.