A Southern California man whom family members identified as a former Laotian military officer who aided U.S. efforts during the Vietnam War was run over and killed by his daughter while attempting to prevent the woman from driving drunk.
Riverside police Sgt. Dan Reeves told the Associated Press Saturday that 37-year-old Soukvilay Barton ignored her father’s pleas not to drive and backed her BMW convertible out of the garage, striking him.
Bounmy Rajsombath was rushed to a Riverside hospital, where he was pronounced dead Friday night.
Witnesses say Barton had been drinking and arguing with family members. She stopped the car after seeing that her father was injured and sat sobbing before being taken into custody.
Barton was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and gross vehicle manslaughter and was held on $75,000 bail. Police say they don’t know if Barton has a lawyer, and a listed number for her couldn’t be located.
A man who identified himself as Rajsombath’s son-in-law told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Rajsombath ran a refugee camp in Thailand to help people escaping a Communist insurgency during the Vietnam War. He came to the United States in 1979 and settled in Southern California with his wife and four children. The man said that Rajsombath worked as a plumber before injuring his arm in a fall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.