Russian Arrested for Killing Student While Driving Drunk

A Russian man was arrested in Sihanoukville in the early hours of Sunday morning for allegedly killing a 21-year-old student when he lost control of his car while driving drunk and crashed into the victim’s motorbike, police said Monday.

“The incident happened because the Russian was driving under the influence of alcohol and was driving very fast,” said Ket Sopheak, deputy provincial traffic police chief.

Mr. Sopheak identified the suspect as 36-year-old Denis Valov, a Russian national, who he said had been driving two passengers just after midnight when his Volvo hit a median and flipped onto its side into the oncoming lane, colliding with a motorbike driven by Sun Chamnan, 21.

Sun Chamnan died of his injuries at the Preah Sihanouk provincial hospital about three hours later, he said.

“Based on our inspection, the car may have been traveling between…110 and 120 kph, because we can see traces of skid marks about 50-meters long,” Mr. Sopheak said.

Mr. Sopheak said that Sun Chamnan had been a high school student who also worked as a moto-taxi driver to help support his family.

Mr. Valov—who works at the Snake House Hotel and Restaurant owned by Russian businessman Ostap Doroshenko—was arrested at the scene, where police used a breathalyzer to determine that his blood alcohol content was 0.55 mg per liter, Mr. Sopheak added.

Under the country’s traffic law, the legal limit for a driver’s alcohol concentration is 0.25 mg.

Deputy provincial police chief I Sokha said Monday that Mr. Valov would be sent to the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court to stand trial, and that police had already filed a report with the court.

“I feel very sorry for the student, because he was supposed to sit his exams [Monday],” Mr. Sokha said.

Deputy court prosecutor Ream Chanmony said he finished questioning the suspect on Sunday and sent him to provincial prison later that day to await trial.

A staff member at the Snake House restaurant confirmed by telephone that a Russian national employed there had been arrested, but declined to answer any further questions.

The Russian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment. Mr. Doroshenko could not be reached.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Russian businessman Nikolai Doroshenko owns Snake House in Sihanoukville. In fact, Ostap Doroshenko, his son, owns the venue. The story has also been updated to attribute information about Denis Valov’s employer and blood alcohol content to Ket Sopheak, the deputy provincial traffic police chief.

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