A speeding van headed to Mondolkiri province crashed into a truck loaded with cassava while trying to overtake it in the blinding sun on Friday morning, killing five passengers instantly and critically injuring seven others, one of whom died later, police said.
The taxi van carrying 12 passengers rear-ended the truck at 7:40 a.m. on National Road 8 in Prey Veng province’s Kanhchom commune, said Sim Kosal, police chief of Pea Reang district.
“According to the questioning, the van driver said that he was blinded by the glaring sunlight while trying to overtake the truck.” Mr. Kosal said. “And then it made his van swerve and crash into the back and the wall of the truck. All five passengers seated at the right side died instantly.”
Another passenger died on the way to a referral hospital in Svay Antor district, said Sreng Chea, Prey Veng’s provincial police chief.
Police detained the 22-year-old van driver, Lorn Chav, and were seeking the truck driver, who fled from the scene, police said. Major General Chea said that Mr. Chav will be brought to the court on Saturday.
“Now, we are looking for the truck driver and we will send the case to the court,” he said
Last year, in the first year of the country’s new traffic law, police recorded a more than 10 percent reduction in accidents and fatalities, according to the latest National Road Safety Committee report.
Traffic-related accidents declined by nearly 12 percent, while fatalities were down about 14 percent and injuries dropped 9 percent, compared to the same 50-week period previous year, the report says.