The driver of a truck carrying 25 tonnes of cassava across the Vietnamese border fled the scene late on Tuesday night after his brakes failed, causing the vehicle to slam into a border checkpoint post in Tbong Khmum province’s Dar commune, instantly killing one man and injuring five others.
The man killed, Khorn Sokhim, 28, was also a driver, and was sleeping in a hammock when the truck fatally struck him at 11pm, according to Phanh Sokvat, Memot district deputy police chief in charge of traffic. Sokvat said the identity of the driver of the truck remained a mystery.
Sokvat said police contacted Ngarn Choeun, 54, the uncle of the driver, who would not give away his nephew’s name or location but offered to pay for the damage.
Reached yesterday, Choeun said that his “nephew has not been home yet . . . but I believe my nephew had no intention of causing the accident”.
“However, as I am his uncle, I have to take responsibility to pay compensation to the victims and the state for the damage.”
Meanwhile, Sokhim’s uncle, Seng Heang, 50, said he was mourning the young Kampong Cham man’s death.
“We are suffering with losing my nephew,” Heang said.
Three porters at the border checkpoint – Kem Bunchheang, 18, Keo Borat, 17, and Dun Chandoeun, 45 – and two immigration police officials – Ngon Taichhen, 37,
and Van Tola, 28 – received minor injuries but were not hospitalised.
Sokvat said the driver could face up to five years in prison for his actions.