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Hit and Run accidents in China ignites debate

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#1 Starseeker

Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:04 AM

I am not sure I can say anything that hasn't been said.  I was surprised that nobody has posted this already...



A toddler who was twice run over by vans and then ignored by 18 passers-by as she lay critically injured in the street after being run over by two vehicles has died, the hospital treating her said today.
Surveillance camera footage of people walking past the two-year-old girl, nicknamed Yue Yue, as she lay bleeding and unconscious sparked a wave of condemnation and soul-searching on China's popular social networking sites.
A rubbish collector who finally moved the girl to the side of the street in the southern Chinese city of Foshan was hailed as a hero, but the incident also led many online commentators to question the state of Chinese morality.
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"Yue Yue died of systemic organ failure," a spokesman from the hospital treating her told AFP, adding that no expense had been spared to try to save the girl, whose parents are migrant workers.
Doctors had earlier said Yue Yue, who had been in a coma since the October 13 incident, was unlikely to survive.
Yue Yue's death was one of the most popular topics on China's weibos - microblogging sites similar to Twitter - as people expressed sorrow and anger over the incident.
"Farewell to little Yue Yue. There are no cars in heaven," wrote one microblogger.
"Yue Yue was consumed for a week by the fake kindness of netizens ... All the wishes are fake and only the 18 passers-by are real. Farewell, and do not be born in China in your next life," another weibo user wrote.



#2 yohan

Posted 21 October 2011 - 07:11 AM

Hit and run traffic accidents happen everywhere, not only in China.

I know even about accidents in USA and UK with children, where not related truck drivers were moving on without stopping (same as this incident in China), and when questioned later by police why they did not stop to help, they replied they were worried, they might be mistaken for pedophiles.

Edited by yohan, 21 October 2011 - 07:13 AM.

#3 Uncle Gweilo

Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:10 AM

I've been away from my PC for a couple of days. I saw this in passing on TODAYonline's Facebook page. Absolutely disgraceful. But the West is not immune. The Kitty Genovese case dates back to 1964.


#4 BlahBlahBlah

Posted 21 October 2011 - 07:28 PM

Quite simply this is distressing, this is simply emphasising the point that individuals are selfish and cruel.  It's not just the West that has a very distorted and sick society. Society is failing if somebody is willing to turn the cheek when a child is lying dying in the street.

#5 Starseeker

Posted 21 October 2011 - 07:54 PM

I posted the Genovese link in another discussion, since it's part of my old school studies.  I was instantly remind of Genovese murder when I heard 18 people, etc.  The problem of the Genovese murder is that the accounts are a bit sketchy, and there are some reports the number was either exaggerated or that some people did called the police.  There are speculation that the police were trying to cover up the fact that they ignore the report or was too slow to respond.

Of course, all the social and psychological research later on the so called bystander effect did help to improve police emergency response and the wider adoption of community watch.  Even 40 years later, the mythical 38 witnesses that did nothing is still part of public lore.

The difference between the Genovese murder and this case is that this case was directly caught on camera.  It was in broad day light.  People can clearly see the child in distress, but nothing happened.  I am not sure if one can conclude this as a China thing or a human thing though.  In terms of social ladder, the children of migrant workers are one of the lowest of the lowest.  There are estimates of up to 100 million surplus migrant workers in China.  While China likes to boasts of its 98% "literacy" rates, it means jack all for the social welfare of these children.  I still regularly meets girls working in Beijing's service industry that barely finished 5th grade.

#6 BlahBlahBlah

Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:19 PM

I'd argue that dehumanising the population,was a key objectives of Mao and the Communists. It certainly seems their objectives have succeeded, leaving no room for compassion to their fellow man, just commitment to the State. It makes a mockery of the theories of Marx, but then again Marx was full of sh*t and hot wind.

#7 yohan

Posted 22 October 2011 - 02:11 AM

A hit-and-run accident with bystanders unwilling to help has nothing to do with the 'dehumanisation of the population because of communism'.

Exactly the same happens in Western countries frequently. People are unwilling to help for good reason. There are plenty of hit-and-run car accidents known where follow-up drivers do just continue without stopping.

It's simple:

As a bystander you did not cause the accident and you are under no legal obligation to help. Best you go away or drive on and claim you have seen nothing.

However if you help and you do that unintentionally in the wrong way, you might face plenty of legal problems. You might even face lawsuits because you tried to help.

That's a huge problem in USA, and there are special laws in USA to protect firefighters, ambulance workers etc. against such lawsuits.

However ordinary people willing to help are not protected if they are causing additional damages or if they get injured because of their assistance.

What shall ordinary people really do in such a case? To try to stop the next coming car? In China?
You might be the next case of a hit-and-run accident.

It's not only about traffic accidents, but even in case when dealing with criminality.
The burglar or hooligan will be sent to the hospital for free medical treatment and the neighbour next door who used his legally registered gun to stop him will be arrested.

#8 Starseeker

Posted 22 October 2011 - 02:45 AM

A little more info has came out:




  Doctors say Wang Yue, the toddler who made global headlines after she was hit by two cars and left unassisted as more than a dozen pedestrians passed her by, has died.

The two-year-old, who had been in critical condition since arriving at the hospital a week ago, died of multiple organ failure at the General Hospital of the Guangzhou Military Command at 12:32 a.m., the hospital said in a press release.

A woman answering the phone in the hospital’s intensive care unit Friday morning confirmed that the girl had died after midnight but declined to offer further details.

Some comments on the WSJ's China reports are interesting.



Quote: There are two black police circles on the ground at the Guangzhou Foshan hardware market.

The first marks where two-year-old Wang Yue was hit and run over by a white van, and where she lay dying as 18 passers-by walked on, indifferent to her fate.

The second shows where the 19th person, a kindly grandmother, picked her up and gently placed her out of the way of further harm. Her help came too late. In the early hours of Friday morning the little girl's heart stopped beating.


At the market where Little Yueyue, as her parents nicknamed her, lived and died, four open-fronted stores have a clear line of sight to circle number one. It seems unimaginable that the owners would not have noticed a toddler being run down on their threshold.

But all four have the same story. No one saw the girl until they heard the screams of her mother. On the day of the accident, they said, it had been raining torrentially. "The rain was hammering on the metal roof of the market," said Tan Jingzhao, 27, who runs a shop selling bolt cutters and drills.

Mr Tan's desk is fewer than ten paces to circle number one. He has a 16-month-old boy himself. But although he heard Yueyue's weak cries, he said he did not realise what was happening in the gloom in front of him, beyond his computer screen.

"It was very dark that day and usually lots of the children here cry when there is rain and thunder. I had no idea," he said.

Mr Chen, at the store opposite, Shao Yu Water Heaters, was one of the 18 passers-by. But he also fiercely denied having seen her. "We would admit it if we had seen her, but if you ask me 10,000 times, I would still answer you that I did not," he said. "We have had calls cursing me and blaming me and calling me heartless, but the truth is I did not see her," he said.



Quote: For once, the Communist Party's propaganda chiefs are unable to dictate the message because they too are lost for words, and are not sure what the new message should be and which tone to strike.

Tonight, the script writers at the Ministry of Propaganda will be working overtime and checking every Chinese character they write for nuance.

God forbid that the finger of blame be turned squarely on the paternalistic Communist Government and its failed creation of a "harmonious society", the flagship policy and slogan of current President Hu Jintao, who is in the last year of his eight-year term.

Each Chinese President seeks to leave his legacy on the country and the Communist Party.

What must Mr Hu and his clique be thinking behind the high walls of the vast and exclusive luxury compound where the elite and their extended families live - the spoilt princelings, et al who are often seen as above the law?

The secretive world of the compound, called Zongnanhai and situated next door to the Forbidden City in Beijing, is symbolic of the division in the get-rich-quick-grab-what-you-can-me-first culture.


Grab all that you can, while you can and anyway you can, is the mantra of modern China.

Wang Yang, a top official, told a high-level provincial meeting that the tragedy should be a "wake-up call" for society and that such incidents should not be allowed to occur again.

'We should look into the ugliness in ourselves with a dagger of conscience and bite the soul-searching bullet,' he said.

Compassionate leadership at last, perhaps.   

Maybe not:   


Quote: On Friday, the government-controlled media began a counter-offensive against the bad publicity from the story of Yueyue, with major papers running stories about kind-hearted bystanders who have helped save people from traffic accidents. One case involved a 20-month-old boy named Xiaojie who was hit by a car but quickly pulled to safety by “kind-hearted” bystanders — coincidentally, perhaps, in Foshan, the same city where Yueyue was hit and left to die. Xiaojie suffered only a broken leg, media reported.

“Rescues show caring nature of passers-by,” was the headline on the story in Friday’s China Daily newspaper. The Global Times headline on the same story was: “Foshan has another near miss with child.”

The 2 drivers have been arrested and are awaiting trial. There are rumors that one of the driver (the first one perhaps) tried to offer money to the parents for the whole thing to go away.  RIP, child.

Edited by Starseeker, 22 October 2011 - 03:05 AM.

#9 yohan

Posted 22 October 2011 - 03:10 AM

This is the usual story, to say I have not seen anything...

It's not only in China, about same in Philippines or in Thailand... etc. etc. and also in Western countries, of course.

#10 กำนัน

Posted 22 October 2011 - 03:15 AM

No right minded, normal person would have walked past that child, no matter what the risk of 'legal problems' later on. Even intelligent animals (Elephants, Whales, Chimpanzees) exhibit empathy towards their own kind. It IS about humanity. What needs to happen now is all of the people that ignored the child, including the two drivers that ran over her, should be locked in a room, with me, for one hour. I'll bring the gasoline, matches, and the snipe nose pliers... They will experience, exquisite pain.

#11 Starseeker

Posted 22 October 2011 - 03:30 AM

3 CNN reports :


Edited by Starseeker, 22 October 2011 - 03:42 AM.

#12 yohan

Posted 22 October 2011 - 07:30 AM

View Postกำนัน, on 22 October 2011 - 03:15 AM, said:

..... no matter what the risk of 'legal problems' later on.

.....What needs to happen now is all of the people that ignored the child, including the two drivers that ran over her...

It's a big difference between these 2 drivers who ran over a child and all these other people who did NOT cause this traffic accident.

There is no justification for lynch justice against people who happen to be accidentally nearby, but are in no way related to this traffic accident.

To help is a voluntary matter in such a situation. You might do so - up to you, but you might also refuse.

These 2 drivers and also the mother are a different issue as they are directly related to this accident.


About by-standers, I have my own experience in Thailand, in Songkhla, near the ferry port, about 15 years ago.

I was walking on the other side of the street, when a Thai woman in her 50s on her motorcycle, full loaded with shopping goods, suddenly felt down because of a hole in the street. So I was crossing the street, took away the bags, then took away the motorcycle as she was trapped under that all and as I have always some bandages/and plasters with me in my bag - she had many bleeding cuts on her arms and hands, I gave those bandages to her and helped her otherwise to continue to the ferry boat.

When I said good-bye to her after maybe 2 - 3 minutes, I found myself encircled with maybe 7 or so angry Thai men and women, all threatening me and ready to beat me up.

Luckily the woman already sitting on her bike noticed that, got off her bike again, was stepping between me and them and was shouting something around to all of them in a very loud voice - and they all were moving on.

Later on I was thinking about what all could have happened to me in case this woman had been unconscious suffering serious injuries - not only because of these wild Thai people against me, but also in relation of the corrupt Thai police.


To help somebody is not always a thankful task. Especially not,  if you are a foreigner in Thailand....
I don't know what I will do should I face again a similar situation.

For sure, China is not better than Thailand, it's corrupt and lynch justice is common too in case of accidents and I fully understand innocent bystanders who do not want to get involved.

Edited by yohan, 22 October 2011 - 07:36 AM.

#13 กำนัน

Posted 22 October 2011 - 05:30 PM

View Postyohan, on 22 October 2011 - 07:30 AM, said:

There is no justification for lynch justice against people who happen to be accidentally nearby, but are in no way related to this traffic accident.

Yes they ARE related to this accident, they are witnesses. If you help someone, you might also be hailed as a hero. Everything in life is a risk.
What I describe is not lynching. It is cold, dispassionately administered torture.

#14 Il Postino

Posted 22 October 2011 - 07:32 PM

Is there any truth in the rumour that who ever calls the ambulance has to pay for it.

Also if you take someone to hospital in China you will be directly responsible to pay the bill.

maybe this goes some way in explaining peoples reluctance to help.

This however does not explain peoples reluctance to at least protect the child from further injuries, at least warn other road users.

I guess life is cheap in China and nobody really cares, shocking.

#15 Jack Fancy

Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:20 AM

There are a few cases in China where a victim was helped by a stranger and later that victim sued the stranger and the courts favored the victim.  Between that and the migrant worker that looks to become a victim, it's added to the mentality of better stay out of it.  Either way, it was heartbreaking watching that video.

#16 MrFantabulous

Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:12 AM

Generally the more badly overpopulated a place is the less likely you are to get involved in the daily human dramas around you.  Simply because of overexposure.  You'll even walk with blinders on and now allow yourself to look around too much. . like a typical New Yorker.   If your going to get hit by a car. . best thing if it happens in a small town in an low population country. . There everybody will stop to help you.

#17 Uncle Gweilo

Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:05 AM

Here's another article on the incident in The Guardian:



Before giving himself up to the police, the driver of the second vehicle, a van, told the media why he had run away. "If she is dead, I may pay only about 20,000 yuan (£2,000). But if she is injured, it may cost me hundreds of thousands of yuan."


  In 2006, in the capital of Jiangsu province, a young man named Peng Yu helped an old woman who had fallen on the street and took her to a hospital and waited to see if the old woman was all right. Later, however, the woman and her family accused Peng of causing her fall. A judge decided in favour of the woman, based on the assumption that "Peng must be at fault. Otherwise why would he want to help?", saying that Peng acted against "common sense". The outcry from the public in support of Peng forced the court to adjust its verdict and resulted in Peng paying 10% of the costs instead of the total. Since that incident Peng has become a national cautionary tale: the Good Samaritan being framed by the beneficiary of their compassion.


The fundamental problem, in my view, lies in one word that describes a state of mind: shaoguanxianshi, meaning don't get involved if it's not your business. In our culture, there's a lack of willingness to show compassion to strangers.

#18 yohan

Posted 26 October 2011 - 04:05 AM

Not much difference in Europe or here in Japan, the point is only about insurance cover and much much higher financial demands than in China.

I remember the death of Princess Diana. One of the first people, who stopped his car was a medical doctor going home from hospital after work - he took a look inside the car and was calling the police using his mobile phone.

As a 'Thank you' he received later on a lawsuit for 'inadequate first aid' filed by Egypt friends and the father of this Dodi Fayed, who also died with her in the accident. A French court requected this millions of dollar claim.


After the crash, the ambulance arrived, there was a French doctor, Dr. Malyes (ph), who treated her at the scene. But quite surprisingly, he never joined Princess Diana in the ambulance to go to the hospital. And one would imagine that even for the sake of continuity after treatment that he'd given that he would have done that.


I can only recommend never touch the victim of an accident if you are not fully authorized personnel, which is protected by law against malicious lawsuits.

The only difference I see between China (but also Thailand and similar countries in Asia) and Japan, is the fact, that the health insurance system and police investigation are very advanced and not corrupt.

My motorcycle insurance protects me against any claims of third party, regardless what kind of damage - it's ' unlimited', same with the office car insurance, which I use almost daily. The unlimited all-risk insurance covers me and all people inside the car against any kind of damage.

Many drivers here in Japan are clearly underinsured or unwilling to pay for full cover, especially bus- truck- and taxi-companies. Even if you are totally innocent and there is a serious accident you might fight your claims out in courts over years, with lawyer fees and hospital invoices similar to USA, with millions of dollars. In case of the all-risk unlimited cover the insurance companies will fight all that out for you.


Quite understandable for me, that many in China in case of accidents, if they are related to the accident or only by-standers, do the best to disappear and claim they have seen nothing and done nothing wrong.

View PostUncle Gweilo, on 26 October 2011 - 12:05 AM, said:

Here's another article on the incident in The Guardian:

I think this article is more or less BS - and the follow up comments by religious do-gooders etc. also.

Let us see - What will happen in Japan, USA or UK in case of such an accident? Good question...

I think, the driver will stop. Why should he not stop? (except if his own car or he himself is not OK, like drunk driving, stolen car etc.) This accident is not his fault. I would stop in such a case here in Japan. I know financially I will be secure, whatever will happen legally seen.

As a fact it was this child entering the road was causing the accident, and not the driver. The driver cannot be blamed as there is no signal there and no pedestrian crossing. This is a road and not a sidewalk.

In case of insurance claims, what could be the next step? The driver/insurance company might file a lawsuit against the mother in return, as she is the responsible person to take care of this child. What she did is contributory negligence for sure.

The child is dead, so the article does not blame her. However as a fact you cannot overlook that she was negligent.

#19 BlahBlahBlah

Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:44 AM

To lay blame, the person needs to understand what is right and wrong. The little girl was two years old, I'd be very surprised if she fully understood what she was doing,and therefore you cannot lay blame at the feet toddler. The "negligible" actions of this 2 year old, does not excuse the actions of the other people involved with this situation, especially both of the drivers who run her over.

#20 yohan

Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:12 AM

I did not blame the child, but the mother - I said clearly that she is the responsible person who has to take care of the child.

For sure the first driver cannot be blamed if he is running over a person who is suddenly in the middle of the road.
A road is not a sidewalk.

While here in Japan, such a case whould hardly cause a hit-and-run, the situation might be rather different in countries like China, India, Thailand or somewhere in Africa, where hit-and-run, regardless if it's your fault or not, is often seen as the best solution for the driver.

If a driver is running over a child with his car does not automatically mean, that it is always the fault of the driver.

While in advanced countries courts are trying to find a answer to who is guilty and who is not, the situation is totally different in countries like China which is known for its poor legal system.

#21 BlahBlahBlah

Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:13 AM

I apologise, I missed that bit.

Perhaps the driver will be charged with undue care and attention. If there is such a law in China. With the Worlds eyes firmly set on the Chinese, it will be interesting to see what happens next. The second driver is the more interesting case, if he was paying attention, he must gave seen there was something laying in the street.

#22 yohan

Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:28 AM

It will be interesting what happens next... IF there is a next, as China is not much interested in foreign observers.

There is no foreigner either who suffered any damage in this accident.

In a court you might see a tearful first and second driver accused by an angry mother and a few minutes later a tearful mother accused by an angry first and second driver.

Nobody will care about any witnesses...

These drivers will pay some condolence money to her and this is it... the first driver will say he was afraid of lynch justice in the market, the second driver will claim he saw 'something' but was thinking it's some paper or garbage or will produce any lie you can image. Finally he will also pay some little money.

The mother will take this little money (little money by Western standards for sure) and says bye-bye and you never hear anything anymore about this matter. If she is refusing to accept the money and to be silent, the judge will send her to jail for negligence, case finished.

Next please... Such trials are many in China, laws are incomplete or even missing, judges are ignorant and are ruling arbitrarily, justice is running low in Chinese daily life.

Edited by yohan, 26 October 2011 - 09:37 AM.

#23 Bluecat

Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:21 PM

View Postyohan, on 22 October 2011 - 02:11 AM, said:

A hit-and-run accident with bystanders unwilling to help has nothing to do with the 'dehumanisation of the population because of communism'.

Indeed, it just shows that there was not much humanisation in the first place.
And I do not think it can happen anywhere.

#24 กำนัน

Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:33 PM

There's an interesting related story here...

#25 Starseeker

Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:52 PM

Hm.., is Wenzhou better than Guangzhou?  Who knows.  Of course, Wenzhou is smaller than Guangzhou and a lot more homogenous.  Guangzhou is one of the first city to be flooded with migrant works and out of towners trying to make it rich.  Does that matter?  Well, it has been proven that if you live in a place where everyone knows you or knows about you, it's a lot more difficult to get away with a crime.

Anyway, for those looking for the CNN videos that were pulled from youtube, you can watch it in the CNN link I posted.

#26 Starseeker

Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:51 PM

Btw, since I forgot to update, the guy got 6 yrs.

#27 Jack Fancy

Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:44 AM

I'm surprised you didn't add the recent news of a drunk driver hitting a mother and daughter on a scooter and dragging the daughter for like 700 meters and still fleeing the scene.

#28 Bluecat

Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

We do not read Chinese newspapers :rolleyes:

#29 Starseeker

Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:31 AM

OOps, sorry about that, it's 3 1/2 years.

6 years is for the My dad is Li Gang case.

#30 MrFantabulous

Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:09 AM

That Chinese lawyer who won the Nobel peace prize got a harsher prison sentence.

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