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Driver in hit-and-run tragedy fronts court

Driver in hit-and-run tragedy fronts court

The medical student who killed three and injured 11 others in a March hit-and-run car crash along Norodom Boulevard told the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday that she was suffering from meningitis and was on medication that made her drowsy when the accident took place.

Although 23-year-old Keam Piseth Narita said she “deeply regretted her mistake”, she implored the court to drop the charges.

Piseth Narita added that she had not intended to drive that day – her younger brother was supposed to drive her but cancelled at the last minute because he was busy.

“I promise that I will not commit this again in the future,” she told the court. “I would like to ask the court to drop charges against me and release me so that I will be able to continue my studies.”

Piseth Narita, a sixth-year student at the University of Surgery and Medicine, has been charged with “driving causing death and serious injury”.

On the day of the accident in March, she drove a Toyota Camry into a crowd of motorbikes, cyclists and pedestrians outside the Ministry of Interior, said Kor Vandy, vice-president of the Municipal Court.

She had earlier hit a motorbike and led police on a high-speed chase down Norodom Boulevard, he said.

He added that Piseth Narita’s father – Keam Piseth, deputy director of the Kandal Provincial Hospital – had compensated the families of all the victims, who have since dropped charges against his daughter.

Regardless, Municipal Court vice prosecutor Soeu Vanny pointed out that Piseth Narita had still violated the law and “seriously affected the public order” – causing needless suffering and pain for the families of the victims.

“Although all victims have already received compensation and have also withdrawn their lawsuits against her, it cannot put an end to the case,” she said, urging the court to maintain charges and punish the accused.

The court will hand down a verdict next week.

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