Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Driver charged, goods investigated



Driver charged, goods investigated

Authorities seize goods yesterday from a bus in Svay Rieng after it was involved in a deadly traffic accident
Authorities seize goods yesterday from a bus in Svay Rieng after it was involved in a deadly traffic accident the previous day. Vireak Mai

Driver charged, goods investigated

The bus driver allegedly at fault in Tuesday’s fatal crash in Svay Rieng province was yesterday charged with death caused by reckless driving, as police opened an investigation into whether tonnes of goods found on the bus were illegally imported.

Le Vang Phing, 43, had been driving the bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh when the accident happened, after he attempted to overtake a sedan at high speed and ended up ploughing into an oncoming van loaded with commuting workers.

“He was charged and is now at the provincial prison,” said Svay Rieng provincial traffic officer Tie Hiebsie at the provincial court yesterday.

Hiebsie said Vietnamese national Le had been charged, after initially being placed in detention following his arrest at the scene on Tuesday.

Investigating judge Heng Phally, who presided over Le’s hearing, declined to comment on the case, while provincial deputy prosecutor Orng Ry could not be reached for comment.

At the time of the crash, the minivan had 39 people on board, 18 of whom were killed.

There were only six people aboard the bus, which was loaded up with almost 8 tonnes of goods, including more than 6 tonnes of clothing and various other items, such as shampoo, door locks and books.

Authorities are currently verifying that the goods were legitimately imported.

“We are transporting them to the customs office to check them against their documents,” said Svay Rieng customs officer Nguon Vuth yesterday.

Meanwhile, the bus was dragged away from the crash site on Tuesday and left outside Svay Rieng provincial police station to prevent it being burned by locals outraged by the incident.

“If they had burnt it, the van, the homes of villagers near the road, would be burned too,” a policeman was overheard saying outside Svay Rieng provincial police station.

Le’s charging comes amid a swirl of demands from victims’ friends and family members for him to face justice.

“I want the authorities to put the Vietnamese driver in prison for the rest of his life because he crashed and killed many villagers,” said Hing Bros, 49, yesterday morning at a funeral held for one of the victims at Svay Chrum province’s Svay pagoda.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce