Trucker sentenced to 6 years for fatally ignoring traffic officer in southern Vietnam

By Phuoc Tuan   July 5, 2017 | 08:11 pm PT
The officer tried to stop the truck but slipped and was run over by the rear wheel.

A court in the southern province of Dong Nai on Wednesday sentenced a trucker to six years in prison for defying a traffic officer's orders, a decision that led to the officer's death.

Tran Manh Thong, 25, allegedly refused to stop his truck when instructed to pull over by traffic police, and accidentally ran over and killed Major Le Quang Minh, 41, in the resulting chase.


Thong in court. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

Thong claimed he was transporting pigs from Dong Nai Province to Ho Chi Minh City on April 15 when traffic police signalled for him to stop. However, he refused to comply, prompting Minh to give chase by motorbike.

He caught up with Thong at a toll station by Dong Nai Bridge, but following an argument, Thong decided to drive on. As Minh tried to grab onto the truck's wing mirror, he slipped and was run over by the truck's rear wheel.

Thong managed to escape but turned himself in the next day.

In court, Thong claimed he refused to comply with Minh's instructions because the officer threatened him. “I send my apologies to the victim's family. I was wrong, and I hope the panel will be lenient so I can return soon to my family,” he said.


Locals watch the court proceedings from outside. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.

There have been a number of incidents recently involving reckless drivers failing to comply with police. A traffic officer died after being hit in the northern province of Phu Tho last Sunday, while another officer was severely injured trying to stop a truck in the central province of Ha Tinh just two days earlier.

The Ministry of Public Security last Sunday signed a decision allowing police to resort to any legal means necessary to deal with people who break traffic laws in response to the situation.

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