Two teenagers and a man were killed instantly yesterday when a car hit them on National Road 5 (NR5) in Battambang province’s Sangke district as they waited to cross the two-lane highway to reach a wedding reception, police said. A woman survived but was sent to the emergency room in the provincial hospital.
Sat Kimsan, provincial head of the traffic police office in Battambang, said the four were hit when a truck failed to overtake another vehicle in time, swerving too far back into the original lane and running right into the victims on the side of the road.
“The truck driver drove his car to escape from police but then he abandoned the vehicle and ran away,” Kimsan said. “We are searching for the driver.”
The dead boys were 14 and 15, and the man was 34. The woman, 35, was badly injured, said a traffic police official in Sangke district who declined to give his name.
“This truck did not drive slowly and the victims did not stand on the roadside, but stood on the sidewalk,” he said.
NR5, which runs from Phnom Penh to Banteay Meanchey in the north, is the deadliest national road in Cambodia, according to the most recent government statistics from 2013. That year, 183 people died on it, representing 19 per cent of the total fatalities that year on all the eight main national roads.
A new traffic law due to take effect in February will raise fines and punishments for road rule violators in an effort to rein in reckless driving and lower deaths.