Parents of Car Crash Victims Upset Over Lack of Ruling Decision

Parents of the eight children who were either killed or injured when a car careened through their picnic last month are disappointed because the judge has yet to resolve the issue of compensation.

“I am not confident that the court will arrest the driver,” said Choup Sok, father of 18-year-old Chouk Socheat, who died in the Feb 11 accident near the Cam­bo­diana Hotel.

“The municipality has not given [the parents of the eight teen­agers] any compensation,” he said. “If the court does not solve the problem, we will present the issue to Prime Minister Hun Sen.”

Kim Jor, whose daughter Kim Chanta died in the accident, said the parents are still asking for $5,000 each in damages. “[But] the municipal court has not offered any information about the compensation yet,” Kim Jor said.

Yet Chakriya, deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said  he didn’t know how much compensation should be paid to the victims’ parents and that it “was up to the courts to decide.”

During mediation, the parents originally asked for $10,000 in compensation each from Long So Paul, the owner of the vehicle. The parents are also asking the courts to arrest Chea Soun He, the alleged driver.

Police officer Chek Hak said Long So Paul’s brother-in-law, Toun Vy Shal, stole the car and drove it to the riverside.

While Toun Vy Shal was talking to a friend, Chea Soun He alle­gedly took the car and drove it into the picnicking teen-agers.

On March 11, the parents de­creased their demand to $5,000 after meeting with a municipal official. Long So Paul has already sold the vehicle involved in the tragedy for $6,000, and will distribute that money evenly between the parents of the victims, according to Ban So Paul, an Interior Ministry official who said he is a friend of Long So Paul.

“This compensation can be regarded as our humane sentiments,” Ban So Paul said.


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