Driver Flees Crash Scene With Police License Plates in Hand

Police are brokering an out-of-court settlement between two drivers involved in a high-speed collision in Kompong Thom province on Saturday, including a man who fled the scene after removing police license plates from a Toyota SUV owned by an Interior Ministry official, local authorities said on Monday.

The Land Cruiser SUV in question was speeding through Stung Sen City on Saturday morning when it was broadsided by a Toyota pickup truck, which was also speeding, according to provincial traffic police chief Ros Sam Ang.

“Because no one died, we are not going to send them to court for speeding, but rather help them reach an agreement,” he said. “If they don’t agree, then [the case] will be sent to the court.”

Mr. Sam Ang said the Land Cruiser was owned by the son of Ministry of Public Function Secretary of State You Sunlong—an Interior Ministry official whose name he claimed not to know—but that it was being driven by another man, who left the scene with an unknown woman after removing the vehicle’s police-issue license plates.

Chim Song, chief of police in Prey Tahou commune, said he and four or five officers were at the scene when the driver removed the plates.

“I didn’t allow the driver to take off the license plates, but while I was overseeing the flow of traffic, to allow people past, I saw the driver remove the license plates and walk away,” he said.

According to the traffic law, those involved in a crash must not leave the scene or alter it such that authorities are unable to “identify who is responsible for the accident.”

The driver of the pickup truck, Kham Sam, 39, accused the driver of the Land Cruiser of being drunk and of driving on the wrong side of the road. He said only compensation to the tune of $5,000 would keep him from filing a complaint with the provincial court.

Mr. Sunlong, the Public Function Ministry official, confirmed that the car was owned by his son, whom he said worked at the National Police headquarters in Phnom Penh but refused to name. He said that his nephew, whom he also refused to identify, had been driving at the time of the crash.

“My nephew took the number plates because we don’t want people to know that the car belongs to police,” he said. “However, all local authorities in Kompong Thom know that it belongs to my son.”

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