Lay Priest Killed in K Thom Bus Crash

An elderly Buddhist lay priest was killed and a second man gravely wounded on Monday morning when a tour bus plowed into their motorbike in Kompong Thom province’s Stung Sen City—the second major bus crash in the city in just three days.

The Chhuong Bus Company bus, which had been carrying 27 foreign tourists from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap City, crashed into a motorbike crossing National Road 6 at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, killing Hem Sam Eoun, an 85-year-old achar, and seriously injuring his driver, 34-year-old Cheng San, according to Prum Chanthol, deputy chief of the provincial traffic police.

“The bus overtook another vehicle in front of it, which had slowed down to allow the victims to turn across the road to their house,” Mr. Chanthol said, adding that the bus had been speeding at the time.

“The bus crashed into the back of the motorbike and dragged it about 60 meters before the bus veered off the road into a drainage ditch,” he said.

Mr. Chanthol said investigators were still questioning Meas Sivann, 27, who was arrested at the scene of the crash and claimed to be an assistant of the bus driver.

“If we find that he is actually the assistant, we will release him, but if we find he is the driver, we will file charges against him,” he said, explaining that to the knowledge of police, there had been only two Cambodians on the bus, the driver and a tour guide.

Deputy provincial police chief Keo Huor said operators of both the motorbike and bus were to blame for the crash, as both had been driving recklessly. He said police had identified the driver and would soon apprehend him.

On Saturday morning, an Olympic Express tour bus traveling from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap City overturned in Stung Sen City, injuring five passengers. Police and a passenger said the driver—who fled the scene and remains at large—had been speeding in heavy rain at the time.

(Additional reporting by Peter Ford)

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