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Man who ran over 2-year old Yueyue in Foshan could get 7 years in jail

Posted: 05/28/2012 3:34 pm

Yueyue, just before being hit by the oncoming van

It was a story that shocked much of the world: 2-year old Yueyue, on a street in Foshan, hit by vehicle while security cameras watched.  Then, over the next several minutes, 18 people walked by the badly injured toddler, but none offered help until a street scavenger happened to notice the girl.  Sadly, Yueyue succumbed to her injuries a few days later.

The story hit both Chinese and international news pages and prompted many Chinese people to reflect on the values of their own society. Today, China Daily is reporting that the man who was behind the wheel of the van that hit Yueyue may end up in jail for the next 7 years:

On Oct 13, Hu Jun ran over Wang Yue, and failed to stop to help her on a market street in Foshan, according to a statement from the Nanhai district people’s procuratorate.

Hu faces charges of negligence resulting in the death of another person, according to the procuratorate. No verdict was delivered on Friday.

Wu Xiaoda, a lawyer in Guangzhou who specializes in criminal cases, said the maximum penalty for such a charge is seven years in prison according to Criminal Law.

Hu and his attorney admitted in court that Hu’s behavior had resulted in Wang’s death, but they insisted it was not intentional and pleaded for leniency.

One lawyer in Guangzhou was quoted as saying Yueyue’s parents should be held partially responsible, as Yueyue was out of their sight and wandering alone in the road when the accident occurred.

After the Yueyue case, Shenzhen decided to introduce a Good Samaritan law which aimed to protect good Samaritans who help a victim by freeing them from any legal liability for the condition of the person they helped. We said at the time:

Generally, in our humble opinion, the Good Samaritan Law in Shenzhen is more of a band-aid solution to a much more serious problem.  China has a tendency to solve issues it deems problematic through diktat (Four Pests Campaign, anyone?), but this is a complex (and dark) problem with deep roots.  Quite simply, we’re not sure what’s a worse offense: ignoring somebody clearly in dire need of help, or taking advantage of a kind-hearted person who took a risk to help somebody else.  There is a certain level of moral decay here which, while the Good Samaritan Law is helpful, will not be solved through legislation.

No word on when a verdict on Hu Jun will be announced.

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