Seven foreign tourists were hospitalised in Siem Reap province yesterday after the minibus they were travelling in overturned during a single-vehicle crash on National Road 6 in Banteay Meanchey province’s Preah Net Preah district.
The victims suffered minor injuries and police are investigating the incident to determine whether or not it was caused by negligence on the part of the minibus driver, who fled the scene after the crash and remains at large.
Preah Net Preah district police officer Proeng Vichet said yesterday that the seven foreigners were from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
“The accident happened in Toek Cho commune. It was a minibus full of foreigners,” Mr Vichet said. “The passengers suffered minor injuries, and they were sent to a hospital in Siem Reap because it was closer to the scene.”
Toek Cho commune chief Sin Oun said yesterday that an investigation is now being carried out to determine what caused the accident.
Mr Oun noted that no other vehicles were involved.
“No other vehicles were involved in the accident – the bus turned over on its own,” he said. “There were 15 people on the bus, including 13 foreigners and their Cambodian driver and a tour guide.”
Deputy district police chief Soun Saray suspected the incident was caused by reckless driving.
“After questioning the tour guide, we found out that the bus was driving behind a dirt truck,” Mr Saray said. “He said that the soil truck was attempting to overtake smaller vehicles on the road, and the minibus was following it.”
“Eventually, the driver of the dirt truck abruptly stepped on the brakes but his brake lights were not working. Fearing a collision with the dirt truck, the bus driver hit the brakes but then lost control of the vehicle,” he added. “The van swerved off the road.”
He noted that the minibus driver fled the scene.
“According to procedure, we will impound the vehicle and conduct an investigation into who the owner of the bus was,” he said. “We’ll see if any of the foreigners will file a complaint.”