A Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) soldier was in police custody and unconscious Sunday after he was attacked by a mob for killing three motorists while driving drunk in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district early in the morning, according to police.
Tum Sambath, 23, was at the wheel of a black Mazda sedan when he rear-ended a motorbike driving in front of him at about 1:15 a.m. and almost immediately rear-ended a second motorbike, said Soeun Saroeun, deputy chief of investigation for Phnom Penh’s traffic police.
Mr. Saroeun said the motorbikes were carrying two people each, and that three of the four died at the scene.
“He was speeding and crashed into the back of the motorbikes driving in the same direction,” he said. “So far, there are three men dead and one badly injured.”
Mr. Saroeun identified the deceased as Ul Samnang, 25; Soy Tol, 37; and Heng Top, 37, and said none of them were wearing helmets. He said he did not know the identity of the injured man, who was sent to a private clinic for treatment.
Mr. Sambath drove about 100 meters down the road after the accident, but came to a stop because one of the motorbikes was stuck under his car, at which point an angry crowd gathered around him, according to Mr. Saroeun.
“Dozens of people surrounded the scene and started throwing rocks at the car,” he said. “Those angry people beat [Mr. Sambath] and he got badly injured.”
Mr. Saroeun said Mr. Sambath was visibly intoxicated when police arrived and that he lost consciousness about an hour after the accident, while in police custody.
“He is in emergency at Calmette Hospital today and we are waiting. If he wakes up, we will send him to the municipal court to face charges,” Mr. Saroeun said Sunday.
He said Mr. Sambath was a member of the RCAF’s air force, but that he did not know his rank.