Military Officer Flees Crash That Killed Teen

A military officer is suspected of fleeing the scene of a road crash that killed a high school student after telling police he would return later to settle the case, police in Kompong Thom province and the boy’s grandfather said on Thursday.

Poan Pon, an 11th-grader, died instantly when his motorbike was struck by an oncoming car in the province’s Santuk district on Wednesday at about 6 p.m. while attempting to make a left turn into a gas station off National Road 6, said deputy district police chief Siv Sovanna.

According to photographs of the scene circulated online, the crash ripped the fenders off the driver’s Range Rover and left the boy mangled on the side of the road.

District deputy traffic police chief Pich Pon identified the driver as Sorn Sambath, a brigadier general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

“The driver wasn’t arrested. He got in his friend’s car and left the scene when police were marking the road where the accident happened,” Mr. Pon said.

The car drove off from Taing Krasaing commune toward Kompong Thom’s provincial capital, he added, but refused to say why police had not immediately detained the general.

The victim’s grandfather, On Khun, 61, said police had told him as he was picking up his grandson’s body that the driver was a 48-year-old man who lived in Phnom Penh.

According to Mr. Khun, the driver told police at the scene that he wanted the victim’s family to file a complaint, and that he would return to pay a settlement.

Mr. Sambath’s Range Rover had a RCAF license plate with the number 2-8886, and the vehicle is now being held at the district military police station, he said.

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