Vietnam traffic cop arrested for fatal car accident

By Nguyen Long, Thanh Nien News

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A BMW driven a man identified as Senior-lieutenant Pham Hong Tuan, 28, a traffic police officer in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, was badly damaged after causing a fatal accident on Saturday. Photo: Nguyen Long

A traffic police officer of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has been arrested for driving a car with a fake number plate that caused an accident that killed two people last weekend, prosecutors of the Vietnamese coastal province said.
Senior-lieutenant Pham Hong Tuan, 28, of Chau Duc District’s Traffic Police Division would be detained for four months pending further investigations, the provincial prosecutors' office said Monday.
Tuan allegedly crashed the four-seater black BMW sedan into a group of 10 militiamen from Ngai Giao Town and Lang Lon Commune at 1 a.m. on Saturday when the militiamen were standing by the roadside in Ngai Giao during their joint-patrol. Two militiamen were killed and seven other injured.

Senior-lieutenant Pham Hong Tuan in police custody. Tuan, 28, will be detained for four months pending further probes for driving a BMW with a fake number plate that caused a accident that killed two people last weekend. Photo: Nguyen Long


The Hanoi-registered car was speeding at the time of the accident, and allowed the militiamen no time to escape being hit, news website VnExpress reported. 
Militiaman Ho Xuan Thu, 55, died on the spot while Van Son Dong, 38, died on the way to hospital.
The BMW and a number of motorbikes were badly damaged.
Nhiu A Sy, a militiaman who luckily escaped the crash, told Thanh Nien News he saw the BMW crashing into the crowd before hitting a light pole and flipping over. A shirtless man crawled out of the car and joined local residents to bring the injured to hospital, he recalled.
Tuan was the only person in the car, according to eyewitnesses.
On Saturday afternoon, Tuan came to the Chau Duc District’s police station to report on the accident. 
According to police, the BMW that Tuan drove had the license number 29A-410.86. But according to the Vietnam Register, this license number was granted to a four-seater Toyota Camry owned by Tran Thi Lien, a woman in Hanoi. 
The plate that the BMW was bearing, therefore, is fake, they said. 
Dat Viet newspaper on Sunday quoted Ho Thuc Thien, Vice Chairman of Chau Duc Dist. People's Committee, as saying that Sen. Lt Tuan had claimed he borrowed the car from a friend.
After the accident, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, sent condolences to families of the victims and ordered Ba Ria-Vung Tau authorities to provide the best medical resources to treat the injured and give financial support to their families.
He ordered provincial police to quickly investigate the cause of the accident and work with Hanoi police to track down the origin of the car.
A spokesman of Ba Ria-Vung Tau police said that "the person responsible for the accident, whoever he is, will be strictly punished.

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