Irishman killed in hit-and-run collision in Cambodia

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Tributes have been paid to Dubliner Kieran O'Brien following the fatal crash
Tributes have been paid to Dubliner Kieran O'Brien following the fatal crash

A 46-year-old Irishman has been killed in a hit-and-run collision in Cambodia.

Tributes have been paid to Dubliner Kieran O'Brien after he died following a collision in Kandal province on Saturday.

Local media reports he was thrown from his motorcycle and landed in a pool of water following a high-speed hit-and-run. 

O'Brien was fatally injured following the collision on National Road 3 in Kandal Stung district’s Tbeng commune while travelling to Kampot province from Phnom Penh.

Police said the Irishman was travelling at approximately 80kp/h when a car came from behind and clipped his motorbike on the left side.

He was thrown from the motorcycle and skidded around 30 metres along the road into a dirt hole filled with water. 

“The victim was possibly knocked on the side of his [left] hand by a car," police chief Young Koung said.

"He was not wearing a helmet and was likely knocked unconscious before he landed in the water.

“The victim could have choked on the water,” he added. “If he did not fall into the water, maybe we could have helped him in time.”

The police chief said the car failed to remain at the scene and there were no witnesses to the accident. He said they will continue the search for the driver, however, and are carrying out interviews. 

Mr O'Brien's ex-wife said she was "shocked" to be told by police about the accident on Saturday. 

Ros Srey Noch (26) said Mr O’Brien had lived in Phnom Penh for several years and had a 6-year-old daughter.

“He loved his daughter and I wish my daughter had not lost her father,” she said. “I want the authorities to investigate and find the car that caused the incident.”

The 46-year-old’s former GAA club St Annes also paid tribute to the father-of-one, saying: “With great sadness we say goodbye to a dear friend and larger-than-life character Kieran (Greener) O’Brien.

“All at St Anne’s GAA Club would like to express our sincere condolences to the O’Brien family at this time. May he rest in peace."

An expat described Kieran as "a character and a funny guy" on a forum. 

"All the Irish community in Phnom Penh will know who he is, rest in peace," user luckyleprechaun wrote.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Mr O'Brien's death, adding that consular assistance was being provided to his family.