Friday 24 November 2017

Man ignores hit-and-run victim who turned out to be his mother

Mr Zhang, drove past an injured woman who turned out to be his mother Photo:
Mr Zhang, drove past an injured woman who turned out to be his mother Photo:

Nicola Davison

A man who drove past a fatally injured woman on the side of the road in China found out later that she was his mother.

The man, surnamed Zhang from Nanling county in the eastern province of Anhui, was driving to meet his mother when he passed a bloodied elderly woman lying in the road.

After arriving at his mother’s house and realising she was out, he rushed back to the scene, only to discover the terrible truth.

Mr Zhang called an ambulance but his mother died from her injuries on the way to the hospital. Police later found a driver who admitted to the hit-and-run.

“My car does not have a dashboard recorder, so I didn’t stop,” Mr Zhang said, according to Anhui Business Daily.

Drivers or passersby in China are hesitant about helping strangers in need.

In recent years there have been reports of money being extorted from the “good Samaritans” by the very people they try to assist.

With limited government health insurance, those unfortunate enough to get into accidents can face medical bills beyond their means.

Last year a man killed himself after the family of an injured elderly man he stopped to help accused him of knocking down the pensioner and demanded money.

Such incidents provoke soul-searching among internet users.

Many believe China is beset by rampant materialism and has lost its moral foundations.

In response to Mr Zhang’s tragic story, one microblog user, Wuyuedingxiangmu, said on Sina Weibo: “We can’t be too indifferent, for helping others equals helping ourselves. We must punish swindlers harshly, otherwise it only strengthens the indifference.”

To encourage citizens to help strangers, the city of Shenzhen in southern China took out the country’s first “Good Samaritan” law in 2013.

It puts the burden of proof on the person who was injured and harshly punishes those found to make false claims of injury.

There were calls for such a law to be introduced countrywide after a gruelling and now infamous case in 2011 in which 18 people passed toddler Wang Yue as she lay in the street after being hit by a car.

Although someone eventually stopped to help, the two-year-old girl died of her injuries.

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