A senior government official said he did not protect his son from prosecution after the young man drove a government-owned sport utility vehicle over a motorbike, then tried to escape by driving for 2 km with the motorbike jammed beneath the vehicle.
Ly Pros, CPP secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, said Wednesday that he played no part in the Municipal Traffic Police Department’s decision to release his 24-year-old son, Tuy Sopheak, following the hit-and-run on Friday.
“When the children of government officials are involved in an accident, people always accuse,” Ly Pros said.
Tuy Sopheak’s Lexus—a car provided to his father by the Ministry of Rural Development—collided with a Honda Chaly in Tuol Kok district. The crash left a 24-year-old man with head injuries and a broken leg, and a 19-year-old female with slight injuries, said Chev Hak, deputy chief of the traffic police.
After the crash, Tuy Sopheak fled the scene even though the Chaly remained trapped underneath his vehicle, Chev Hak said.
Police pursued the car for 2 km until it was forced to stop because of the trapped bike, he said, adding that Tuy Sopheak was detained but released an hour later.
“He was in shock, that’s why he tried to escape,” Chev Hak maintained.
The case is not closed yet, he said, adding that the injured motorbike driver and passenger are demanding $5,000 and $2,000 in compensation, respectively, from Tuy Sopheak, but that he has offered only $1,500 in total. Ly Pros said his son, a law student, borrowed his top-of-the-range government vehicle and that he could not afford to pay the compensation demanded.
He added that he would let traffic police find a “compromise.”
Chev Hak said a police-negotiated compromise was the most culturally appropriate solution.
“According to the law, the police cannot solve these accident cases. But now it has become the culture that after an accident, there is an compromise,” he said.