Official, Driver Accused Of Fleeing Hit-And-Run

A deputy Oddar Meanchey provincial governor and the driver of his Lexus SUV fled the scene after hitting and killing an 8-year-old boy crossing a road on a bicycle, police said on Tuesday.

Deputy provincial governor Vath Pharanin was a passenger in his chauffeur-driven vehicle when it struck the boy as he crossed National Road 68 after buying some cookies in Samraong City’s Konkriel commune, police said.

“After the incident, the car was abandoned at the scene,” provincial traffic police chief Thou Sophea said, adding that the deputy governor was in the car when the crash happened at about 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.

The deputy governor would be held responsible according to the law, provincial police chief Men Ly said.

“No one can avoid a traffic accident, but importantly you pay civil compensation or negotiate with each other,” Mr. Ly said.

However, Mr. Sophea said police placed responsibility for the death of the boy, Norn Knoy, on Mr. Pharanin’s driver, whom they were seeking to arrest despite not knowing his identity.

Mr. Sophea said the deputy governor had not been questioned in the incident and was not being sought for questioning.

“Usually, only the driver would be held accountable,” he said.

Mr. Pharanin’s SUV was being held at the provincial police headquarters, Mr. Sophea said.

Mr. Pharanin could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Funeral services for the boy ended on Tuesday. His family had not filed a complaint with police over the death, Mr. Sophea said.

In September, an intoxicated senior Forestry Administration official was released without charge after killing a security guard with his Lexus SUV in Siem Reap province. He had dragged the guard and his motorbike beneath the car, and led officials on a high-speed chase.

Despite violating the law, the 48-year-old Yan Sideth’s release was not unusual, according to Ear Chariya, director of the Institute for Road Safety.

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