Death Toll at 8 in Monivong Hit-and-Run

Bringing the death toll to eight, another victim of last week’s tragic car crash on Monivong Boul­e­vard has died from injuries sustained in the hit-and-run accident, authorities said Sunday.

In critical condition for four days, Ly Kim Sreng, 25, died in a local hos­­pital Friday, said Mao So­ny, deputy chief of Phnom Penh’s mu­nicipal traffic police de­part­ment.

Seven other people, including five children between the ages of 11 and 17, were killed on Sept 12 when a speeding Toyota Camry swerved into a crowd by a busy fruit-juice stand late at night.

Police have arrested a 31-year-old military police official, identified as Chhorn Kunthy from Ta­keo province, in connection with the dead­ly crash.

After the accident, two men got out of the car and appeared to stum­ble around before running off, police and witnesses said.  One man, who managed to avoid cap­ture right after the crash, is still at large due to lack of evidence, Mao Sony said.

Chhorn Kunthy and an accomplice had been drinking in a beer garden before losing control of their speeding vehicle as they traveled on Monivong Boulevard, Mao Sony said, adding that it was un­clear which of the pair was driving the car at the time of the crash.

The ninth victim of last week’s crash, Kiet Sophal, 27, has awoken from a coma and is now slowly recuperating from critical injuries at Preah Bat Norodom Sihanouk Hospital, according to his wife.

Jean Van Wetter, a road safety co­ordinator with Handicap In­ter­na­tional Belgium, said that last week’s hit-and-run accident in Cham­kar Mon district was not an isolated case.

During the nine-month period between October 2004 and Aug­ust 2005, van Wetter said the agen­cy has identified 47 cases of hit-and-run traffic accidents involving at least one fatality.

A Handicap International Bel­gium statement said that many of the people who caused the deadly ac­cidents have never been apprehended by the authorities.


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