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Lawsuit filed against truck driver over Kampong Cham teen deaths

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A truck hits five students killing two in Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Siem district on Friday. FRESH NEWS

Lawsuit filed against truck driver over Kampong Cham teen deaths

The parents of two students who were killed in a traffic accident in Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Siem district on Friday filed a lawsuit against the truck driver, with each demanding 61,275,000 riel ($15,000) in compensation.

Provincial traffic police chief Saom Ros told The Post on Sunday that Ron Theara, 15, and her 15-year-old cousin Ron Sochan were returning home on their bicycles with three other pupils when a truck careered into them near the Krala commune police
station.

Thea died on the spot, while Sochan succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital.

The other three pupils – Pheng Mariya, 16, Pheng Sophang, 16, and Nou Ping, 17 – sustained serious injuries and were hospitalised.

The driver was identified as Meas Maron, a 24-year-old from Sralao commune in Kampong Thom province’s Baray district. Maron fled the scene but was later arrested in Prey Chhor district around 10km from the scene.

He has since been placed in pre-trial detention, charged with “negligent driving causing death and injuries”.

“Police subjected him to a breath alcohol test [which he failed]. After questioning on Saturday morning, we sent him to Kampong Cham provincial court. He has been charged with careless driving resulting in death and injuries under the Road Traffic Law,” Ros said.

If found guilty, Maron faces up to five years.

Sochan’s mother Ky Tin told The Post on Sunday that she and Theara’s mother Nou Chanda demanded a maximum sentence for the driver in addition to the compensation.

Seng Phalla, the mother of Mariya who is receiving intensive care at Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh, said she had not decided on a lawsuit demanding compensation.

Phalla said she wanted the driver’s family and truck owner to visit her daughter at the hospital and apologise for the accident.

“Physicians told me that her jaw bone was broken into two pieces. It would take a long time to align the bone by surgery, and she could lose her original face structure."

“The injuries on her arms and legs are not very serious, so what I want now is for the offender to be responsible for my daughter’s treatment so she can go back to school,” he said.

Phalla said her daughter was only one week away from taking the ninth-grade national examination.

Miech Seangrath, the principal of Samdach Chuon Nath High School where the girls attended, told The Post the five were supposed to take the examination on August 5.

“I’m very sorry about their tragic accident. All of them are outstanding students at our school. The accident has spoiled their chance to sit for the upcoming national exam,” he said.

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