Kandal Police to Investigate Lawmaker’s Fatal Hit-and-Run

Kandal provincial police plan to investigate a fatal hit-and-run traffic accident in Kien Svay district on Friday in which an SUV transporting CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap drove away after colliding head-on with a young couple on a motorbike, killing the woman and seriously injuring her husband, a police official said Wednesday.

“We are going to talk to the injured man, and the people who were at the scene, to collect all of the information so we can make a full report and send it to the court,” Kandal deputy provincial police chief Ven Sovinn said.

“I will ask the man who came on behalf of the car’s owner,” Mr. Sovinn said, referring to Mr. Yeap’s lawyer, Kar Savuth, who contacted authorities on behalf of the parliamentarian and paid $1,000 to the victims in the aftermath of the crash.

“The report will be sent to the court in about two days. It won’t be long. Kandal police have never ignored a case that resulted in injury or death.”

Mr. Yeap, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, has denied any wrongdoing for not staying at the scene of the fatal crash, which, under the Traffic Law, he was obliged to do. Mr. Yeap maintained that he was in danger of violence if he had remained at the scene of the crash. He also claimed he had “immunity” from such regulations because he had not been driving his car, and had immediately called his lawyer to deal with the matter.

Moeun Tha and his wife Pin Sophea, both 26, crashed head-on into the front of Mr. Yeap’s Lexus SUV while attempting to overtake a truck on National Road 1 in Samraong Thom commune on Friday morning.

Mr. Yeap’s car, which witnesses said had been speeding, did not stop, though it did drag the couple’s motorbike for some 50 meters from the impact site.

Pin Sophea died of her injuries that afternoon at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital, where her husband is still being treated for a ruptured kidney. Mr. Tha said that he would not file a complaint against Mr. Yeap, as the parliamentarian had been paying his medical expenses.

“I’m not pressing charges,” he said. “I just want him to buy me a new motorbike, as mine was completely destroyed in the accident.”

Mr. Tha said he wasn’t sure who was at fault for the crash.

“I don’t know who was in the right or the wrong. My wife is dead now,” he said.

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