Garbage Collector Crushed by Drunk-Driver

A garbage collector was seriously injured early Sunday morning when an intoxicated Chinese national lost control of his SUV in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district and smashed into the back of a garbage truck where the young man was working, crushing him, police said Monday.

The victim, Yin Reach, 19, was putting rubbish into the back of the parked truck on Street 110 between Streets 19 and 15 at about 3:45 a.m. when the Toyota Land Cruiser veered toward him and slammed into the back of the truck, trapping him, the victim’s 27-year-old brother, Yin Rorn, said.

“The doctor told us that my brother has broken the bones in his thighs, knees and pelvis, and damaged his groin and kidneys, while he lost a lot of blood because the arteries in his legs were cut,” Mr. Rorn said from Calmette Hospital, where his brother remained unconscious and in serious condition.

“We have a little hope, but the doctor said that if he survives he will likely be disabled,” he said.

Seng Chanthon, deputy chief of the municipal traffic police’s traffic offense section, who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, said the driver of the vehicle is 31-year-old Chinese national Tuan To, a structural engineer. Mr. Chanthon said he did not know the name of Mr. To’s employer.

“The suspect was drunk and hit the victim from behind as he was collecting trash at the back of the Cintri truck, injuring him severely,” Mr. Chanthon said.

Municipal traffic police chief Chav Hak said he arrested the driver at the scene of the accident, and delivered him to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday for questioning.

Laurence Dangreaux, a 39-year-old teacher from France who lives on the corner of Street 19, was on her balcony when the accident happened and immediately called an ambulance before joining neighbors attempting to help the victim.

“He was trapped between the two vehicles facing into the back of the truck and was waving his arms around and we shouted to the driver to back up. Finally, he backed up a little bit but then the car jumped forward crushing him again, before he moved back,” she said.

The driver then slumped over in his seat until police arrived, Ms. Dangreaux added.

The car bore the distinctive red-and-blue colored license plates of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) with the number 22929, she said.

Police declined to confirm whether the car had RCAF plates.

Ngoun Sipheng, operations manager for Cintri, said the company will cover the costs of medical treatment for Mr. Reach, but will later be reimbursed by the National Social Security Fund.

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