Police in Kompong Cham province arrested a Kampuchea Angkor Express bus driver and his assistant after they crashed into the back of a tractor on National Road 71A early on Monday morning, injuring the driver and two passengers before fleeing the scene.
After leaving the scene on a motorbike taxi, the two suspects— driver Lim Pisey, 28, and assistant Dot Hak Koub, 28—were spotted by police, who were on their way to respond to the crash, and subsequently arrested, said Lim Sothy, Chamkar Loeu district police chief.
“We saw both men and we suspected they were the bus driver and his assistant because we had been told they had fled and they were covered in dirt and were not wearing any shoes,” he said.
Mr. Sothy said that under questioning by district police, Mr. Pisey confessed to crashing into the tractor. He added that the two suspects would be transferred to provincial police headquarters for further questioning today.
The bus was transporting 19 foreign tourists and 17 Cambodians from Siem Reap City to Phnom Penh when it ran into the back of an unlit tractor transporting firewood at 3:30 a.m., Mr. Sothy said, adding that nobody on the bus was injured.
The crash resulted in extensive damage to the front of the bus, however, and the destruction of the tractor and trailer, he said.
Mr. Sothy explained that the tractor’s driver, Lay Lon, 21, sustained serious internal injuries, while his two passengers suffered minor injuries, all from being hit by pieces of wood they were carrying. He said all three were being treated overnight at the Chamkar Loeu district referral hospital.
Long Meng Se, Kompong Cham provincial traffic police chief, placed the blame for the accident on the drivers of both vehicles.
“The bus was driving very fast and was trying to overtake [the tractor] without being careful, while the tractor did not have any lights or reflectors on the back,” he said.
Representatives of Kampuchea Angkor Express could not be reached for comment.