Police confirmed Monday that the driver of a Range Rover who killed three people Sunday night after losing control of his vehicle in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district is 31-year-old Bun Rattanak, the son of municipal finance department chief Bun Serey.
The suspect, who police say faces charges of unintentional killing, was allegedly drinking at a party shortly before the accident.
However, police at the scene claimed that the results of a breathalyzer test revealed Mr. Rattanak—whose name they did not reveal at the time—was below the legal limit to drive.
Mr. Rattanak’s SUV struck and killed an as-yet-unnamed pedestrian, then swerved and hit a motorcycle, killing 42-year-old Mao Sony and her 18-year-old daughter, Sem Pisith. Three others were injured before the vehicle came to a stop.
“We sent [Mr. Rattanak] and accompanying evidence to the municipal court this afternoon for questioning—we don’t know yet what charges will be brought, but in our report we have accused him of causing unintentional killing,” said municipal police chief Heng Chantheary.
Deputy municipal police chief Tim Vansy said Monday night the court had not yet charged the suspect, who is now in detention at the municipal police station after being questioned by prosecutor Meas Chanpisith.
“We will send Rattanak back to the court tomorrow and the prosecutor will charge him, then send him to an investigating judge,” he said.
Keo Chanthy, the 48-year-old husband and father of the two named victims, said Monday that Mr. Rattanak’s family had visited his house on Sunday in an attempt to negotiate compensation for the deaths of his wife and daughter. “I asked them for $60,000, but [Mr. Rattanak’s] family asked me to lower the amount, as they say they do not have much money,” he said.
Mr. Chanthy said the suspect’s family had already paid “a lot of money” for the first day of his wife and daughter’s funeral on Friday and had promised to pay for the final day.
“I am grieving for the loss of my wife and daughter, and no amount of money can make them be alive again,” he said.