Three people died and nearly 20 others were injured in traffic accident in Siem Reap province’s Chikreng district yesterday.
Sok Sopheavuth, Chikreng district police chief, said the driver of the bus, which belonged to the private transportation company Sun Oukong Company, caused the accident because he fell asleep behind the wheel.
“We suspect that the accident was caused by the driver, who drove very fast while he was sleepy,” he said. “He caused the bus to careen off the road near a bridge.”
Mr Sopheavuth said that the crash occurred at about 3.30am while the bus was travelling from Phnom Penh to Banteay Meanchey province on National Road 6.
Mr Sopheavuth said the accident resulted in the death of three men, including the driver, his assistant and a passenger.
A total of 17 other passengers were injured, seven of whom were rushed to hospital in serious condition, he added.
“We carried the dead out of the bus,” he said, adding that among the less injured passengers were three foreigners who were brought to the provincial hospital.
Siem Reap provincial police chief Tith Narong said in a National Police report that the driver fell asleep behind the wheel.
Mr Narong said the bodies of the victims have already been handed over to their families for funerals and added that the bus has been impounded at the provincial police station for further investigation.
In a separate traffic accident in Pursat province’s Krokor district, a woman died and another ten people were injured on Tuesday when the mini-bus they were in overturned following a flat tire.
Krakor district police chief Em Run said the injured were sent to the provincial hospital and some to a hospital in Phnom Penh.
Mr Run added that the driver of the mini-bus bolted from the scene and noted that police are looking to arrest him.
Mr Run did not identity the driver.On Sunday, officials warned motorists to be careful as the Khmer New Year approaches this weekend.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng said traffic accidents increase during major holidays, especially during Khmer New Year.
“I want everyone to be careful when travelling along the roads. Wear a helmet and seat belt, do not drive fast and do not drive drunk,” he said on Sunday. “Traffic police officials will be very strict on these issues by advising people if they don’t follow the Traffic Law.”
During the five days of Khmer New Year in 2017, 55 people were killed and 226 were injured, 126 of which were seriously hurt. The Interior Ministry’s public order department reported that speeding, drink-driving and dangerous overtaking were the main causes of accidents.
According to another Interior Ministry report, 480 people were killed and 1,234 were injured in traffic accidents in the first three months of 2018, a decline from the same period in 2017 when 468 people died and 1,000 were injured.