Cambodia seeking Singapore motorbike owner over fatal hit-and-run accident

The Cambodian authorities are seeking the owner of a Singapore-registered motorcycle allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed an elderly man in Phnom Penh.

The accident happened on Feb 7 in Cambodia's capital city, in the Khan Por Senchey area on National Highway 4.

According to Cambodian media reports, the 81-year-old victim was riding his bicycle across the road at about 12.50pm local time (1.50pm Singapore time) when the accident happened.

News site Cambodia News English (CNE) reported that the victim had raised his hands while crossing to signal traffic to slow down.

A "high-powered motorcycle" then slammed into him at high speed, killing him instantly.

There were conflicting reports that the motorcycle, which was later identified as a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, had toppled or slowed down after the crash.

But citing eyewitnesses, the reports said the rider, believed to be a woman, did not stop to render aid. Instead the rider, who was dressed in yellow, sped away from the scene.

A piece of debris with the motorcycle's BMW logo was found next to the victim.

A photograph showed the victim's distraught family gathering around his body, which was covered up and lying next to the twisted mess that was his bicycle.

In an update on Tuesday, CNE reported that the motorcycle was found parked outside a boutique hotel near the Phnom Penh Central Market area.

The Singapore-registered BMW motorcycle (with pannier) was found parked outside a boutique hotel near the Phnom Penh Central Market area with a piece of its front end missing. PHOTO: CAMBODIA NEWS ENGLISH

The motorcycle was missing a piece from its front end, which matched the debris found at the accident scene. It was adorned with stickers of national flags belonging to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos.

The BMW model has a 1,170cc engine and can reach over 200kmh. It weighs about 260kg and is described on the BMW website as a motorbike able to "overcome every type of terrain". It costs more than $50,000 here brand new, inclusive of the certificate of entitlement.

CNE told The New Paper yesterday that it received an anonymous tip-off on Facebook that the owner of the motorcycle had returned to Singapore to seek treatment for an injured wrist, but had left the motorbike behind.

The news has riled netizens in Singapore and Cambodia, with many saying the rider has to return to Cambodia to assist in investigations.

Netizens have identified the rider as a mother of two who is affiliated with local rider groups that travel frequently to Malaysia and Thailand.

Checks by TNP on her Facebook page showed several photos which matched the motorbike found outside the hotel in Phnom Penh.

Attempts to contact her have been unsuccessful, and her Facebook page was deactivated yesterday evening.

A close friend of the woman, who did not want to be identified, said he was surprised to hear of the allegations. "This is news to me... She is a close friend," he said. "I've never known her to run away from responsibilities." The man added that she has also not responded to any of his messages.

Another acquaintance of the woman said he is unsure of her whereabouts but confirmed she lives in Singapore.

TNP reported that while the Cambodian authorities are still looking for the woman, they have yet to contact their counterparts in Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2019, with the headline 'Cambodia seeking S'pore motorbike owner over fatal hit-and-run accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe