The families of four students’ killed by a driver who fled the scene of the accident are demanding $20,000 each in compensation.
Kampot provincial traffic police summoned the vehicle owner and the parents of four deceased students on December 19 to resolve claims arising from a traffic accident in front of Touk Meas High School in Banteay Meas district on December 1. The four victims’ families are demanding $20,000 each in compensatory damages for their losses.
Kampot provincial deputy police chief in charge of traffic Ngem Vet said on December 19 that his authorities summoned the driver to resolve the issue with the victims’ parents at the traffic office on December 19, but both parties needed to agree to the settlement.
He added that the authorities were still working on mediating the dispute. However, according to the law, in cases where traffic accidents occur that result in fatalities, there are two matters that must be considered.
The first matter is the civil claims to compensation by the families of the victims and the second matter is the potential criminal prosecution of the driver if they are determined to be responsible for causing the accident.
“Therefore, the driver, in addition to paying compensation, is responsible for criminal offenses that resulted in fatalities that he must answer for. Even if the civil settlement is finalised, the criminal case must be sent to court,” Vet said.
Chun Sokna, the uncle of one of the victim’s – Chheang Parinha, 16 – said on December 19 that he and the parents of the three other students were summoned by the Kampot provincial police to meet with two men representing the driver of the car on the morning of December 19.
However, the meeting didn’t have any final results yet and the representative postponed further discussions until December 21, when another meeting with the parents was scheduled to take place.
Sokha added the victims’ parents thought there would be a proper solution when driver of the car asked for the meeting, but in front of the traffic police his representatives requested to keep negotiating until December 21.
Prior to the meeting on December 19, the parents of the students were demanding compensation of $20,000 per victim through the authorities but when the time came to meet the representatives of the driver did not say anything.
“We are not just demanding money as the victims, but as parents even 100 times that amount will not equal the loss of a child,” he said.
Nak Dim, Banteay Meas district police chief, said on December 19 that at around 7pm on December 1 there was a traffic accident between a car and two motorcycles involving the car’s driver and four students – three of whom were killed at the scene-in front of Touk Meas high school and another that died after he reached the Banteay Meas District Referral Hospital.
“We do not know whether the owner of the car was drunk or not because he fled the scene, and that is also a crime. The car owner was just passing through Kampot province,” he said.