Police are searching for a Giant Ibis minibus driver who struck a homeless man as he arrived in Kampot City on Saturday evening, then kept driving to the company’s office before fleeing the scene on foot, according to a passenger and police officials.
The shuttle, arriving from Phnom Penh, was entering the city at about 6 p.m. when it hit an unidentified homeless man thought to be in his 40s, said Nop Sareth, bureau chief of Kampot province’s traffic police.
“I’m not sure if he ran into the moving bus, or if light flashed in his eyes and he couldn’t see the bus as he crossed the street,” he said on Monday, adding that the man was being treated at the provincial hospital for injuries to his head and legs.
According to Timo Kajander, a 40-year-old Finnish passenger on the bus, the driver had carried on as if nothing had happened.
“As we entered the city, I heard a loud sound and saw a man sliding on the ground unconscious. Passengers yelled [at] the driver to stop, but he just kept going,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “The other worker for Giant Ibis didn’t do anything to make the driver stop.”
After disembarking, a nurse who was also traveling on the bus went back to the scene to care for the victim, but “the driver left as soon as we got” to the city, Mr. Kajander said.
The company’s manager, Yoy Vibol, identified the driver as Suos Sophal, in his late 40s, and said drivers had to be wary of mob violence after accidents.
“Every driver in cases like this don’t intend not to help,” he said. But “if we don’t escape the scene, when we get out we might get beaten up.”
The company will hold the driver accountable for the incident, he said, without elaborating, and added that Giant Ibis was paying for the victim’s medical expenses.
Deputy city police chief Khem Hak said police were “filing the case and proceeding with legal procedures” as they looked for the driver.
soumy@cambodiadaily.com
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