Try Narin, the 36-year-old governor of Banteay Meanchey province, died in a traffic accident early Wednesday morning when the vehicle he was traveling in collided with the back of a truck on National Road 5 in Battambang province, police said.
Battambang provincial traffic police chief Sath Kimsan said that Try Narin had been on his way to Phnom Penh for a meeting when his driver attempted to overtake a truck at about 100 kph.
“They tried to overtake the truck, but at that moment, an oncoming car forced them back into their lane and they crashed into the back of the truck,” Mr. Kimsan said.
Try Narin—who had been sitting in the back right seat of his Toyota SUV without a seatbelt on—was seriously injured and died on the way from the crash site in Mong Russei district to a hospital in Battambang City, he said.
The driver, who had been wearing his seatbelt, was only slightly injured in the crash, he added.
Interior Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak said the process for choosing Try Narin’s replacement was underway.
“We are considering the candidates, but so far I don’t know,” Lt. Gen. Sopheak said.
According to preliminary data obtained from traffic police Wednesday, there were 3,306 traffic accidents in the first nine months of the year, which resulted in 5,491 injuries and 1,519 deaths. This represents a three percent decrease from the same period in 2012.
Forty-nine percent of accidents occurred because of speeding, while 13 percent were due to drunk driving and 10 percent were attributed to reckless attempts to overtake slower vehicles on the country’s narrow roads, the statistics show.
Sao Sovanratnak, the World Health Organization’s national professional officer in charge of road safety and injury prevention, said the death underscored the need for more compliance with and enforcement of traffic laws.
In May last year, Kham Phoeun, then-governor of Kratie province, was killed when his car overturned as he was on the way home from a meeting, also at the Interior Ministry. He had also not been wearing a seatbelt.