The Family of Car Accident Victim Accepts Compensation, Closing the Case

The photo of both the victim’s family and the perpetrator’s family talking on the agreement was posted by the victim’s spouse’s Facebook on Feb. 3.

PHNOM PENH — The family of a traffic accident victim who died when a Jeep hit his motorcycle has accepted a $95,000 settlement and the apologies from the perpetrator’s family, and agreed not to pursue the matter any further.

Both parties agreed to end the civil case that had been filed, and not to issue any statement or take any action that could harm the two parties involved or cause disputes related to the accident, according to the agreement on civil liability issued on Feb. 2.

On Dec. 14, 2023, a Jeep Overland hit and killed a man named Seang Kimhong on a motorcycle in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district. The car belonged to Sok Lina, the wife of attorney Prum Vichetsophea, but the driver at the time was believed to be their son Prum Vichetsosakda.

The perpetrator’s family first offered $1,000 compensation that the victim’s wife and family refused. On Dec. 19, Chin Malin, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, said that an arrest warrant had been issued to bring the suspect to the prosecutor's office in case he refused to hand himself in before Jan. 9, 2024.

The settlement was facilitated by Ky Tech, senior minister, president of the Royal Government Attorney Group, and also president of the Samdech Techo Sen’s Voluntary Lawyers Group.  

In a Facebook post on Feb. 3, the victim’s spouse expressed her gratitude to the lawyers’ group for helping with the negotiations with the perpetrator’s family.

“Even though the compensation can never replace my loss, it shows responsibility and justice for my family to some extent,” she said in the post.

She also thanked the authorities for accelerating the procedures, and especially thanked the public and social media users for spreading the news of the accident from the beginning so that her family could get this result.

The accident had triggered a big wave of reactions on social media with users demanding justice for the family of the victim, and asking Minister of Justice Keut Rith to have the prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigate the case.

The suspect was charged with "driving recklessly, carelessly, or negligently that caused the death of another person, running away,” under Article 85 of the Law on Road Traffic and Article 543 of the Penal Code.

Meng Seavmey contributed to the story.

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