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Riverside regular killed

riverside.jpg
riverside.jpg

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

11pm.

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

at night.

"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

Wagon Wheel.

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.

Kim Yideth,

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

said.

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