Following a two-day investigation, the driver of a Range Rover SUV who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run that claimed one life in Phnom Penh has been identified, the municipal traffic police said.
Meanwhile, the team of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s volunteer lawyers on Thursday said they had prepared a lawsuit against the perpetrator in a move to seek justice for the victim.
On Tuesday, a university student was killed on the spot when her motorbike collided with the SUV in Tuol Kork district’s Boeung Kak I commune. Dum Rida, 22, was also a national top-ranking student in Khmer Literature.
Video footage of the accident went viral on social media, prompting the government to denounce the hit-and-run and Prime Minister Hun Sen to appeal for more attention on the rapidly increasing number of traffic accidents.
The car’s owner, Yen Ngech, turned himself in on Wednesday, though he was not involved in the accident, while the driver was still at large.
Phnom Penh municipal traffic police bureau chief Sem Kunthea said his team had interrogated Ngech to determine the driver’s identity.
Speaking to The Post on Thursday, another senior officer who wished not to be named identified the driver as Ngech’s 17-year-old daughter, YM.
“After many hours of questioning, Ngech finally said that it was his daughter who drove the SUV. There were also her friends in the car [at the time of accident]. However, he did not specify his daughter’s whereabouts,” the officer said.
Police are currently on the lookout for the runaway driver.
In a related development, Hun Sen’s volunteer legal team on Thursday said they were ready to submit a lawsuit to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Sok Uorng, one of the lawyers in the team, has been appointed to defend the case and represent Rida’s family in court.
“We will submit it to court after the legal executive committee approves the contents,” Uorng said, adding that the team is determined to seek justice for the victim.
Eang Sophalleth, president of Paragon International University – formerly known as Zaman University – told a local news outlet while on a trip to Beijing that he was saddened by the passing of Rida.
“Rida’s death is not only the loss of a beloved daughter to her family but also an outstanding student to the university [Paragon] as well as a good citizen to this country,” he said.
He called on the authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice.