Family of Hit-and-Run Victim Settles Civil Suit for $70,000

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The family of a motorist suspected of killing a university student in a hit-and-run incident in Phnom Penh last month has agreed to pay $70,000 to settle a civil complaint filed by the victim’s family.

According to a police report, 16-year-old Yin Khun Mey, alias Yin Mana, was driving an SUV with two friends when she hit 19-year-old Dum Rida on Street 228 in Tuol Kork district.

Ms Rida died at the scene and Ms Khun Mey and her friends fled the scene and abandoned the SUV in Meanchey district.

Ms Khun Mey then turned herself in after Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly ordered for the arrest of those involved.

Lawyer Muong Thunleaphy said Path Pov, the mother of the victim, on Wednesday accepted $70,000 as compensation, noting that previously she had demanded $200,000 for the loss of her daughter.

“Both parties met and discussed the incident and spoke about the compensation for my client,” Ms Thunleaphy said. “The motorist’s family expressed their intention to pay compensation. In the end, both parties agreed to the amount.”

Srey Sophannara, a lawyer for Ms Khun Mey’s family, yesterday said the agreement had been reached between the two parties voluntarily.

“My client’s family brought reason and sought for understanding from the victim’s family,” Ms Sophannara said. “I’m happy that both parties can settle this.”

Regarding the suspect, Ms Sophannara said Ms Khun Mey could still be punished over the incident.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophanna said a judge has ordered an investigation.

Ms Khun Mey was charged with reckless driving and negligence leading to a death. If convicted, she could be jailed for up to three years and be fined up to $3,700. She is now in pre-trial detention.

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After rumours circulated on social media saying the suspect was not in prison due to her influential family, Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros went to visit the suspect.

“I saw Ms Khun Mey and I interviewed her in prison for more than an hour,” Mr Sros said.

“I was not allowed to take a photo of Ms Khun May in prison so I could not show that she’s really in prison,” he added. “But, I guarantee that she is.”

Mr Hun Sen yesterday spoke of the case again while meeting athletes.

“This tragedy is not only for the two families, but it affected all our citizens,” he said. “I hope this experience will be remembered and taken as a lesson.”