A 22-year-old driver has been arrested and charged after his van crashed into a truck on Friday in Prey Veng province, killing six of his 12 passengers, police said on Sunday.
According to provincial police chief Sreng Chea, Lorn Chav was charged with careless driving causing an accident at the provincial court on Friday evening and sent to the provincial prison for provisional detention. The charge carries a prison term of one to three years and a fine of 4 to 15 million riel, or about $1,000 to $3,750.
The six injured passengers have since been released from the hospital, but the driver of the truck is still at large, Major General Chea said.
Mr. Chav’s speeding van crashed into a truck loaded with cassava while trying to overtake it in the blinding sun on National Road 8 on the way to Mondolkiri province, Sim Kosal, police chief of Pea Reang district, said on Friday.
“All five passengers sitting on the right side died instantly,” Mr. Kosal said.
Another passenger died on the way to the referral hospital in Svay Antor district, Maj. Gen. Chea said on Friday.
With a new traffic law that came into force at the beginning of last year, police recorded a more than 10 percent reduction in accidents and fatalities in the first 50 weeks of last year, according to the latest National Road Safety Committee report.
Traffic-related accidents declined by nearly 12 percent, while fatalities were down about 14 percent and injuries dropped 9 percent, compared to the same period the previous year, the report says.