Driver Arrested After Attempt to Flee Fatal Crash

A 28-year-old man was arrested in Phnom Penh on Sunday night after he crashed his BMW sedan into two men on a motorbike— killing the passenger and seriously injuring the driver—and attempted to flee the scene, police said Monday.

The accident occurred in Sen Sok district at about 9:30 p.m. when Phalla Odom, 28, rear-ended the motorbike while driving home after dropping off a friend he had been drinking with earlier in the evening, according to Seng Chanthorn, head of the municipal traffic police’s investigations office.

“He was driving along Street 1986 from west to east and while he was passing in front of the Blue Zone club, he crashed into the back of the [Suzuki] Smash motorbike,” Mr. Chanthorn said.

“The passenger flew from the motorbike and died at the scene and the driver was badly injured,” he said, explaining that the passenger, 26-year-old construction worker Thon Panha, had not been wearing a helmet and died of massive head trauma, while the driver, who has not been identified, suffered internal injuries and was sent to a private clinic.

Mr. Chanthorn said that after Mr. Odom hit the motorbike, he attempted to flee the scene, but was partially blinded by the powder that filled his car’s interior when the airbags deployed, causing him to crash into a cluster of vehicles parked alongside the street.

“He could not see the way and sped into a Land Cruiser SUV and two Toyota Camrys and one motorbike that were parked there,” he said, adding that Mr. Odom was arrested by traffic police after his car ground to a full stop.

Mr. Chanthorn said Mr. Odom worked for a private company in Phnom Penh, but that he did not remember the name of the firm.

“We accused him of speeding and drunk driving causing death and injury,” he said.

Deputy municipal traffic police chief Sem Kunthea said Mr. Odom was still being held at the force’s headquarters.

“Today, we are working with the families of the victims to discuss compensation. Tomorrow, we will send him to the municipal court to face charges,” he said.

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News