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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thirty-nine killed on roads over New Year

People gather around an overturned van in Prey Veng province after an accident over the weekend
People gather around an overturned van in Prey Veng province after an accident over the weekend resulting in two deaths. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Thirty-nine killed on roads over New Year

A bus crash that killed two people in Prey Veng’s Kampong Trabek district topped off the traffic accident death toll this Khmer New Year, during which the number of injuries dropped, but fatalities remained almost the same.

Before the accident, which left the bus overturned, the vehicle was seen speeding from Svay Rieng province to Phnom Penh, Um Chamroeun, chief of Kampong Trabek district’s police department told the Post yesterday. While driving at a high rate of speed, a tyre burst as the bus was driving on a downward slope on National Road 1.

“Two men were killed at the scene,” Chamroeun said. “Another 12 people were injured, including eight people who were seriously injured and taken to the hospital.”

Following the fatal crash, police officers from Kampong Trabek district sent the four slightly injured passengers to Kampong Trabek district’s hospital and assisted in bringing the eight who suffered serious injuries to Svay Rieng’s provincial hospital, Chamroeun said.

Since the accident occurred on the border of Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces, the bus is temporarily impounded at the Kampong Trabek district police station, while police figure out under whose jurisdiction the crash falls.

The bodies of the two people killed have been delivered to their families for their funerals to be held.

During this Khmer New Year, there were 132 accidents across the Kingdom, according to a report from the National Police’s Department of Public Order, which was posted on its website on Friday.

Including those killed in yesterday’s crash, 39 people died, 141 were seriously injured and 107 people suffered less serious injuries, according to the accident report. Crashes damaged nearly 200 vehicles, including 157 motorbikes and 40 cars.

“Most of the accidents were caused by speeding, drunken driving, careless driving and changing direction illegally,” the report says. “Most of the victims in motorbike accidents were not wearing helmets.”

Last year, vehicle crashes claimed 38 lives during the Khmer New Year holiday, according to the National Police. However, injuries this year dropped by 58 people, with 248 injuries compared to last year’s 306. The number of fatalities is 12 higher than in 2013.

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