A garment worker and a driver died instantly when their vehicle slammed into the back of a parked truck on the side of National Road 8 in Prey Veng province on Saturday morning.
It was the second fatal traffic accident of the year involving garment workers, who face a notoriously dangerous commute to and from work in poorly maintained vehicles often operated by unlicensed drivers.
Pea Reang district police chief Sim Kosal said on Sunday that about 30 workers were heading to the 7NG Special Economic Zone when their bus rear-ended the parked truck at about 5:30 a.m., instantly killing Chak Lin, 17, and the driver, Leng Pheap, 32. Another 16 injured garment workers were taken to the local referral hospital.
Mr. Kosal said the driver of the truck fled the scene, though he put the blame on the bus driver.
“The bus driver was wrong because he hit the Hino truck from behind,” he said.
He added that authorities did not yet know why the driver—who owned the bus—drove into the truck.
“We did not find a driver’s license with the bus driver at the scene, but the [driver’s] relatives who came to take the body away for the funeral told us the driver had a license and that it was kept at home.”
Huot Kolyan, head of the district health department, said two of the injured passengers had been sent to Phnom Penh for additional treatment—one for a broken leg, the other for a broken jawbone—and that the rest would be released from the referral hospital soon.
The accident follows a crash in Kompong Speu province last month in which five garment workers died when the open-topped truck they were riding in flipped over while attempting to overtake another vehicle.
According to the National Social Security Fund, which pays compensation for work-related accidents involving companies who pay into it, 60 garment workers were killed while traveling to or from work last year.