Bus Driver Faces Up to Five Years Over Fatal Crash

The driver of a bus that careened off a mountain road in Oddar Meanchey province last week, killing 17 passengers, has been placed in pretrial detention and faces up to five years in prison, according to court documents obtained Wednesday.

In an order dated Sunday, provincial Judge Aing Sophea charged Soy Vannat, 27, with careless driving causing injury and careless driving causing death.

Thou Sophea, chief of the provincial police’s traffic bureau, said Mr. Vannat was jailed the day the order was issued.

“He was sent to the prison Sunday after the court charged him, so now he is in the provincial prison,” he said. Mr. Sophea was among the 22 people injured in the crash, according to officials, who said the driver suffered a broken leg.

The charges against him carry a prison sentence of between 18 months and five years, and a fine of between 6 million riel (about $1,500) and 25 million riel (about $6,250).

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