One Killed, Dozens Injured in Battambang Tour Bus Crash

One person died and more than two dozen were injured on Sunday when a tour bus careened off National Road 5 in Battambang province and slammed into a tree after its driver fell asleep at the wheel, police said Monday.

The accident occurred just days after a bus carrying 24 Vietnamese tourists collided head-on with a truck in Kratie province, killing one and injuring 11 others.

Sunday’s crash happened at about 2:30 a.m. as the bus—operated by the local Ly Hong Bus Company—was passing through Sangke district’s Kompong Prieng commune on its way to Poipet City, according to district police chief Vuth Bunthoeun.

“The bus veered toward the right side of the road, hit a tree and knocked it down before driving into a ditch,” he said. “One woman died and 25 other passengers were injured in the crash.”

The police chief identified the deceased as Um Aun, a 41-year-old woman from Kompong Chhnang province. Three passengers who suffered serious injuries were rushed to private clinics in Battambang City, he said.

Mr. Bunthoeun said the bus driver, whose name he did not know, fled on foot.

“Right after the accident, our officers arrived at the scene…but we could not find the driver,” he said.

Battambang provincial traffic police chief Sath Kimsan said the crash occurred when the driver nodded off while operating the vehicle at high speed. He also said he did not know the name of the bus driver.

“Police assessed the scene of the accident, and decided that the crash was due to the driver being sleepy. There were no signs of anyone crossing the street, because [the bus] would have left skid marks on the road,” Mr. Kimsan said.

“Most of the passengers’ injuries were caused when the bus crashed into the tree and they hit their heads against the windows,” he added.

Mr. Kimsan said his subordinates had been in contact with the driver’s assistant, who was treated for a broken leg. But asked whether they had attempted to obtain the driver’s identity from the assistant, he dodged the question. He also said did not have contact information for the bus company.

“The [Ly Hong Bus Company’s] insurance company will take responsibility for the accident as well as the injured passengers,” he said.

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