A deaf and mute man was killed by a train while sitting drinking beer on the railway tracks in Samrung commune’s Samrung Krom village of Preah Sihanouk province’s Pry Nob district on May 15.
Suon Kimsom, Prey Nop district police chief in charge of public order, identified the man as Tong Mao, 30, who lived in the village.
“We did not know whether he was drunk or not, but when the accident happened, he was sitting there with two cans of beer. He was thrown 3m from the tracks by the impact,” he said.
Citing eyewitness accounts, Kimsom said the accident happened at noon. The victim carried a plastic bag – with two cans of beer in it – and sat down on the tracks. Just minutes later, a Phnom Penh-Preah Sihanouk-bound train sounded its horn as it approached. The man, who was deaf, did not attempt to move off the train tracks, and was struck.
Kimsom said it was unclear whether the train driver was aware of the incident, as it did not stop. They have not identified the driver as there were no police present at the time of the accident. The man’s body has been passed to his relatives.
He added that in Prey Nop district, a barricade is lowered across the tracks when a train is coming, and the train driver must sound its horn when approaching a crossing.
Lawyer Phon Thearin said that in such a case, it was possible for relatives of the victim to file a civil or criminal complaint to authorities or court, no matter whether it was a private or state-run train.
However, he said that if the victim was deaf and still entered the prohibited area, he was likely responsible for his own fate.
“He knew that the railway crossing is very dangerous, but ignored the barriers and sat on the tracks. In such a case, the train driver is clearly not at fault,” he said.