Compensation Off Table in Hit and Run Case

Representatives of a high-ranking Ministry of Defense official involved in a fatal hit-and-run have withdrawn their offer of compensation to the victims because the case is heading to court.

Two people died and a third was injured when a Toyota Tundra pickup truck slammed into two motorbikes near the intersections of Norodom and Mao Tse Tung Boulevards on May 30. The driver escaped on foot.

A representative of the driver, identified only as a high-ranking Ministry of Defense official, visited the victims in the days after the crash to offer compensation. But reached Sunday, the driver’s representative said the offer was off the table.

“We had a plan to solve the problem with the deceased’s family but we canceled because police sent this case to the Phnom Penh court,” he said.

“I telephoned to police to ask for a solution but they told me that it is too late because the case is out of their hands as it is in the court.”

The representative, whose phone number was provided by the victim’s family, hung up his phone when a reporter asked him for his name and that of the driver.

Traffic police could not be reached for comment, but the mother of one of the victims said she was still pressing for compensation.

“I telephoned [the representative] on Friday, but he told me that he cannot meet us because the police sent this case to court,” said Phuon Yi, the mother of Sean Veasna, 23, who died during the crash.

“I am disappointed because he did not keep his promise and refused to talk about compensation with us.”

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