Traffic Accidents, Fatalities Down This New Year

Thirty-seven people died in 112 road accidents during last week’s Khmer New Year holiday, typically the busiest time of year on the country’s roads as people make their way to and from their home provinces to be with family.

The figures, posted to the website of the National Police, cover the three-day period of the official holiday, which this year ran from Tuesday to Thursday. In 2014, 48 people died in 185 road accidents over the same period.

The site said the vast majority of accidents this year were caused by speeding, drunk driving and careless passing.

On Sunday, two men died when the taxi van they were riding in overturned in Prey Veng province at about 5 a.m., said Voath Sovannarith, the police chief of Preah Sdech district. He said the other 13 people in the van, including the driver, were also injured and that they were all heading back to Phnom Penh from Svay Rieng province, where they had gone for the holidays.

Mr. Sovannarith said the driver lost control of the van because of a flat tire. He blamed the accident on the driver, though the cause of the flat was not explained.

“The van got a flat tire and it swerved and turned over in a rice field, killing two people,” he said. “The driver is in serious condition because both his hands are broken and his body crashed into the windshield.”

Mr. Sovannarith said the driver was sent to Vietnam for medical attention and the other injured passengers were taken to hospitals in Prey Veng and Svay Rieng.

He identified the dead men as Nget Bunhorn, 31, and Rik Samnang, 36.

In a separate accident in Prey Veng on Sunday evening, two people died when their motorbike crashed head-on into a Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation bus headed to Vietnam, according to Mao Samet, the provincial traffic police chief. A third person on the motorbike was injured and sent to hospital.

Mr. Samet did not apportion blame in the crash but noted that the driver of the bus ran away from the scene of the accident.

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