Man Killed in Hit and Run in Battambang; Bus Driver on the Run

A bus driver remains at large after hitting a motorbike on Saturday night—killing one man and seriously injuring two others—in Battambang province before continuing on to Pursat province with a busload of passengers, police said Monday.

A bus from the Virak-Buntham Express company traveling from Battambang to Phnom Penh along National Road 5 is believed to have cut off the motorbike and then run over the men at about 11:30 p.m., said Kim Kea, a provincial traffic police officer working on the case.

“Based on the inspection [of the scene and bus], our first conclusion is that the bus may have crashed into the side of the motorbike, making the three men fall off and get run over,” he said.

Mr. Kea said the motorbike’s driver Orn Ath, 27, died at the scene from serious head trauma, while passenger Pheng Kloeng, 29, broke one leg and another passenger, Chea Thea, 31, broke both his legs.

“After our police asked the injured men who hit them, and after finding some paint of the bus on the motorbike, we concluded what company the bus belonged to,” Mr. Kea said, adding that the two injured men are recovering at the provincial hospital.

Mr. Kea said the bus did not stop following the crash, which led police to notify authorities in Pursat province to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

Men Borey, chief of a Battambang province traffic police unit, said traffic police in Pursat province spotted a bus matching the description and pulled it over in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“They stopped a bus at around 2 or 3 a.m. in Krakor district of Pursat province, but the driver escaped as police were examining the bus and communicating with us to ensure it was the right one,” he said, adding that police were unsure how many passengers were on the bus at the time.

Mr. Kea said the bus, which was found to have brain matter and blood on it, is now at the Battambang provincial traffic police station.

Virak-Buntham Express could not be reached for comment.

However, Battambang provincial traffic police chief Sat Kimsan said he had been in contact with the company and was awaiting documents to identify the driver.

“We will file a report [once he is identified] to the court to take action,” he said.

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