The lead singer of the Cambodian Space Project was killed in a traffic accident yesterday when the tuk-tuk she was travelling in was struck by a speeding car in Tuol Tompoung I commune.
Chhun Srun, Tuol Tompoung I commune police chief, said that Kak Channthy, 38, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred at about 1am.
“After the accident, the car, tuk-tuk and the offender were sent to the municipal traffic police office,” he said. “One woman was killed and one man was injured. It happened at around 1am at an intersection near Tonle Bassac restaurant.”
Mr Srun added that the cause of the accident remains unclear and that an investigation is still being carried out.
Yin San, chief of Chamkar Mon district police, could not be reached for comment, while Chev Hak, chief of the traffic bureau with Phnom Penh police, declined to comment.
According to TVFB footage from the crash scene, a police officer attending the accident said the man travelling in the tuk-tuk with Ms Channthy was sent to the Hong Hak clinic, along with the driver of the tuk-tuk.
The driver of the car that hit the tuk-tuk, Noun Sreynich, 21, stayed at the scene of the crash and was also recorded by TVFB as she described what happened.
“I drove a bit fast, but I had priority with the greenlight and I drove on the road normally while they had a red light, but they did not stop,” Ms Sreynich said in the video. “We have a camera in our car, it can be checked. If I had done something wrong, I would have run away.”
Ms Channthy’s nephew Phon Sopheak, 22, said that he didn’t believe his aunt was dead when he first got the news of the crash and rushed to the scene. “When I heard the news at first, I just thought that she only had minor injuries in a motorbike accident. When I arrived at the scene, I saw the tuk-tuk and then I saw the ambulance, and still I just thought that she was unconscious and was fine,” he said. “However, police said that she was already dead.”
Ms Channthy toured across 24 countries with the Cambodian Space Project, an act that she co-founded with her former husband, Julien Poulson.
Mr Poulson posted his reaction to the news on his Facebook page yesterday.
“Today I have woken to the saddest news. My darling Channthy has died. I am filled with grief and sorrow but will travel to Phnom Penh now to meet family and friends. I am sorry to say that Channthy’s life has ended way too soon,” he said.
“Channthy was the love of my life and a very dear friend, I feel so sorry that her life has mostly been very difficult and will be more so for the family she leaves behind. She was also my co-pilot in the Cambodian Space Project and through this shared experience, the music, the friendships and the love we shared, I am also grateful to know that I was able to share so much life with Channthy. My heart is broken.”
Obituary page 17