Karaoke Star’s Car Knocks Head Off Statue

A karaoke video star’s Toyota Camry crashed into a recently erected monument to renowned Buddhist scholar Chuon Nath in a traffic circle in Phnom Penh early Tuesday morning, breaking the head off a concrete lion and damaging a Naga statue, officials said.

Military police are searching for the driver and passengers, who ditched the car and fled the scene, municipal military police deputy chief Pol Davy said.

The accident knocked the lion statue to the ground and damaged one of the snake heads on a naga statue, he said. And judging by the blood inside the car, the accident injured one or more people, he said.

Shortly before the accident, the car’s owner, singer Vang Sreyno, 24, and at least two others left a nearby karaoke parlor at 3 am after a night of drinking, Daun Penh military police chief Thong Viseth said.

Military police posted near the park saw the driver and passengers flee to another car and speed away after the accident, he said.

Vang Sreyno could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Pol Davy said that municipal public works officials will ask Vang Sreyno to write a letter of apology and agree to pay for repairs to the statue when she surfaces. She will also face a fine, he said.

Normally, traffic accidents fall under the jurisdiction of municipal traffic police, but this accident was not reported to traffic police, said a municipal traffic police official who asked not to be named.

Municipal police chief Touch Naruth said Phnom Penh Gov­er­nor Kep Chuktema, who was in­strumental in the monument’s construction, had personally asked that a report be filed in court over the damage.

“But this case is held by military police, so I hope they will do it,” he said.

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