Two Dead, One Seriously Injured in Another Hit and Run

Two men died and another was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident on Friday night in Phnom Penh when a Range Rover plowed into a motorbike in Toek Thla commune, police said Sunday, add­ing to a recent spate of fatal—and of­ten high-profile—hit-and-runs.

Thang Ratha, 23, died at the scene of the accident, while Khnat Sat, 31, died after being rushed to Calmette Hospital. Long Sroy, 18, was seriously injured in the accident, according to Sen Sok district police chief Mak Hong. 

Witnesses told police that both the SUV and motorbike were speeding when they collided at an in­tersection on Russian Boule­vard, Mr. Hong said.

The driver fled the scene and no suspects have been identified, he added.

“Police are investigating and looking to arrest the driver for questioning,” said Mr. Hong. “We have no signs of a suspect yet.”

Sun Sovann, the district traffic police chief, said that the victims’ bodies have been returned to their families in Prey Veng province. He said finding the suspect would be a challenge, as the car had already fled when police arrived.

“I think it is hard to find the suspect but police are working to in­vestigate this case,” Mr. Sovan said, adding that hit-and-runs “usually take place during the nighttime.”

In recent times, there have been a number of hit-and-runs involving government officials, none of which have ended up in court.

On Thursday, a Toyota High­land­er belonging to Ly Thida, di­rector of the Kompong Cham pro­vin­cial department of economy and finance, was involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision. Two people were killed and two others injured.

The driver fled the scene and re­mains at large, while Ms. Thida was allowed to take a separate car to Phnom Penh following the ac­cident.

In April, Ek Sovannara, son of former Kandal provincial police chief Ek Krit, fled the scene of a fatal crash in Kandal province. One man died and two others had their left legs amputated. Mr. Sovannara, too, said someone else was driving the vehicle. No charges were brought against the driver, who gave $1,000 to the deceased victim’s family and $500 to the amputees.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap was involved in a fatal collision in November. He, too, said his driver was to blame, fled the scene and later compensated the victims outside of court.

Him Yan, director of the Min­is­try of Interior’s department of pub­lic order, declined to comment Sunday on whether ef­forts are being made to end the hit-and-run im­punity among the country’s well-off.

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