Wheelchair-bound Deth Veasna, for many years a cheerful figure parting tourists
and expats from their money, died in Phnom Penh's Calmette Hospital last week
after being struck by a speeding car on Sisowath Quay sidewalk on May 13 about
Deth Veasna in 1995.
Veasna, who was 53, leaves a wife and five children, three of whom
suffer from physical disabilities. He supported them with the proceeds of
begging money around the Natiional Museum by day and along the quay near the FCC
"He begged until after closing time, 1:00 am and sometimes till
6:00 am," a resident living along Sisowath Quay said.
A witness to the
incident, who owns the Riverside Web shop, said he saw Veasna tossed about 10
meters in front of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant by a Camry car. The wheelchair
landed in the front of his shop.
Another witness, who works for the
River Street Bar, on the corner of Sisowath and Street 178, said he saw two cars
racing along the quay from south to north. The front car swerved to avoid two
tuk-tuks parked in front of the FCC and then crashed on the sidewalk, hitting
Veasna, two motorbikes, and ramming the wall between Happy Phnom Penh Pizza and
The driver of the Camry was the son of RCAF Brigadier
General Khoun Sovun, deputy commander of the special military region that
encompasses Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Chhnang province.
Office Chief of the Municipal Traffic Police, said the victim's family was paid
about $1,100 compensation by the driver's family.
"The accident happened
because the driver didn't know how to drive, not because he was racing," Yideth