Police Officer’s Car Kills One in Hit and Run

 The son of a government official on Saturday fled the scene of an accident in Kandal province that killed one man and caused two others to lose a leg, police said. 

Ek Sovannara—the son of former Kandal provincial police chief Ek Krit, who is now an adviser at the Ministry of Interior—collided with a motorcycle carrying three men while traveling on National Road 8 from Phnom Penh to Prey Veng province, according to  police.

Police allowed Mr. Sovannara, himself the deputy police chief of the Prey Vor International Check­point in Svay Rieng province, to fix a blown tire on his Lexus SUV before he sped away from the scene of the accident, according to Men Sokhoeun, Khsach Kan­dal district police chief.

“The offender asked permission from us to fix the tire and said he will solve the problem after that,” Mr. Sokhoeun said. “But he escaped after fixing the tire.”

“[Mr.] Sovannara drove very fast and he attempted to hit our police when we attempted to stop the car after he and the people with him fixed the tire,” he added.

The accident sent Dork Meng, 28, Van Chan, 28, and Yorn Te Ngor, 30—all residents of Khsach Kandal district—to Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital with severe injuries. All three had their left legs amputated above the knee.

Yesterday morning, Dork Meng, who had been driving the motorcycle, passed away from his injuries, according to his uncle.

Mr. Sovannara gave police at the scene his business card, but escaped before completing an official report.

Mr. Sokhoeun said the suspect would have until after the Khmer New Year holiday, which finishes Wednesday, to come forward and “solve the problem,” or police would try to track him down.

“We already have the offender’s identity because he gave us his name card, thus we are able to find his home address,” he said.

“We will send this case to court to be decided in accordance with the law after the Khmer New Year if [Mr. Sovannara] does not come to solve the problem,” he said.

In November last year, Kandal authorities failed to prosecute another high profile hit-and-run case after a Lexus carrying CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap had a head-on collision with a motorcycle, killing the female passenger and seriously injuring her husband.

At the time, Mr. Yeap claimed he had immunity because he was not driving the vehicle and justified his decision to drive away by claiming he was in danger of falling victim to mob violence if he had stayed at the scene.

Article 36 of the Traffic Law states that, in case of an accident, “drivers [and] all road users involved in the accident and by­standers must…stop their own vehicles immediately…[and] report immediately to the local authority or the traffic police.”

“Leaving from the accident site is prohibited…without the permission of the traffic police,” the law says.

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