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People gather around the wreckage of an SUV after it was involved in an accident with a transport truck in Pursat province
People gather around the wreckage of an SUV after it was involved in an accident with a transport truck in Pursat province’s Krakor district on Friday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Eight killed in hit-and-run

Authorities are searching for a truck driver who fled the scene of an accident after his vehicle blew a tyre and smashed into an SUV in Pursat province on Friday, killing all eight family members inside, officials said.

The crash occurred at 5:30pm in Krakor district on National Road 5. Seven in the Toyota Highlander SUV died immediately, while a 9-year-old boy succumbed to his injuries after arriving at the hospital.

Pursat provincial deputy police chief Or Heang, who is in charge of the case, yesterday said the authorities are contacting the truck owner in order to get the driver’s identity, and have also reported the incident to the provincial court to obtain an arrest warrant.

“First, we do not have the driver’s identity, and . . . we have not yet collected enough evidence. The victims’ side has also not lodged a complaint yet, so we’ll just keep investigating,” he said.

Khun Ry, with the district police said the truck was carrying a container – displaying a company name and the slogan “We carry, we care” – and driving very fast. As it approached the scene, a flat tyre blew out and the truck swerved into the SUV. Ry said the driver and other passengers in the truck then escaped.

According to Krakor district police, the relatives were travelling to Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town from Phnom Penh. Some lived in Banteay Meanchey, while others stayed in Kandal province. The bodies were brought home for a traditional funeral by the relatives on the same day. The two vehicles were impounded.

Him Yan, director of the Public Order Department at the Ministry of Interior said about 1,170 people have died in traffic accidents in the first six months of 2014, an increase of nine per cent compared with the same period last year.

“The figures for people dying in traffic incidents still jumps. High speeds and drunk driving play a part in the incidents,” Yan said.

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