A Chinese woman died on the spot after she was impaled in her chest by a length of timber when the car she was a passenger in drove into the back of a truck carrying a cargo of wood.
The accident occurred on National Road 7 in Kratie province’s O’Krieng commune on Sunday night, a police official said.
Touch Sitha, O’Krieng commune police chief, said the 43-year-old deceased had been working in Cambodia since February 2017.
“Based on the inspection of the scene and interviews with those involved, the initial assessment is that the accident was caused by the Chinese driver of the car, who was driving too fast and without due care, causing it to smash into the rear of the truck and killing the passenger in his vehicle,” Sitha said.
Sitha said the car was driven by a 52-year-old Chinese national, and the pair were travelling from Stung Treng province to Phnom Penh. The driver was said to not hold a valid driving licence.
The body was sent to Phnom Penh for the funeral, accompanied by the Chinese driver, Sitha added.
Both vehicles were impounded at O’Krieng commune hall as evidence. The modified truck carrying 140 lengths of timber was driven by a 20-year-old resident of O’Krieng village.
Horn Pouch, the deputy provincial police chief in charge of road traffic, told The Post that under Article 85 of the Law on Road Traffic, if the Chinese driver was found to have caused the accident due to careless driving, he faces one to three years in prison, with a four to 15 million riel ($1,000-$3,750) fine.
“A foreign driver in another country must have an international driving licence or one issued by the country he is residing in. The Chinese driver did not have either,” Pouch said.
Road Safety Institute adviser Ear Chariya said the driver of the truck might be held responsible for the accident if it is found his timber load did not comply with the law.
“Trucks carrying wood or other items that exceed the length of the truck’s bed can cause accidents on the road. If a load is longer than the truck’s bed, a sign must be displayed to notify others. If there was no sign displayed, the truck driver may be responsible for the death of the victim,” he said.
In the meantime, Sitha said the truck’s cargo was longer than its bed and the driver had tied a green and white cloth on the back of the load to signal caution and was driving slowly as he was only 700m away from his home.