Ten people were killed and five seriously injured in a traffic accident involving three vehicles on National Road 4 on Saturday night in Treng Trayoeng commune in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district.
Tab Lon, the provincial deputy police chief in charge of road traffic, on Sunday named three of the deceased as Chun Chanrith, Kim Chat and Heng Makara, who were officials working at the General Department of Customs and Excise.
He said all the victims’ bodies had been handed over to their families to conduct funeral rites, except the body of one woman who could not be identified. Her body is being kept temporarily at Kampong Speu provincial hospital.
“After inspecting the scene on Sunday morning, national and provincial police committee experts have determined that this horrific accident was caused by a Virak Buntham minibus,” Lon said.
Long Naphal, the head of general administration at Virak Buntham Express Tour & Travel, told The Post on Sunday that the police’s assessment was entirely different from the initial assessment by provincial experts on the night of the accident, which was widely shared online, including on the National Police website.
“It is difficult for my company to accept the assessment provided by the joint police committee. Now my company is working with an insurance company to pay compensation to the families of the victims who were travelling with our company,” he said.
Naphal said the insurance company had sent a representative to investigate the crime scene.
“The insurance company determined that the accident was not caused by our minibus driver. However, this was denied by the investigating committee."
“Currently, a company representative is attempting to secure a new assessment of the case. The identity of the driver of the Hyundai is unknown. The driver ran away on the night of the accident,” he said.
Naphal said there were nine people in the minibus, five of whom were killed, including the driver, while the other four passengers sustained serious injuries.
According to a report issued by the police committee, which was obtained by The Post on Sunday, the 25-seat minibus owned by Virak Buntham Express Tour & Travel was travelling from Preah Sihanouk province to Phnom Penh.
The report said the minibus tried to overtake another vehicle but collided with a Hyundai truck travelling in the opposite direction.
The minibus then collided with a Toyota Highlander carrying five passengers including the three customs officials.
“After the collision, the Highlander and the Hyundai burst into flames,” the report said.
All five passengers in the Highlander were killed instantly.
The injured were sent to Kampong Speu provincial hospital, the report said, while the driver of the Hyundai truck fled the scene.