Two drivers face charges over toddler's death
Police will charge the two drivers who ran over a two-year-old girl in Foshan, Guangdong, in a tragedy that appalled the nation after surveillance footage of it was posted online.
Wang Yue, known to her family as Yueyue, died at 12.32am on Friday from severe multiple organ failure and brain damage after a seven-day fight in the intensive-care unit of Guangzhou Military District General Hospital.
The surveillance footage shows Yueyue being struck by a white minivan that had suddenly sped up, one of its front wheels rolling over her body. The van driver stopped briefly but did not get out, instead driving off - and striking the girl with his back wheel as he did so.
Three people ignored her lying on the road as they walked past. She was then driven over by a light truck, the driver apparently failing to see her.
The footage shows 18 passers-by walking or driving past Yueyue as she lies bleeding in the road, but none go to her aid until elderly scavenger Chen Xianmei pulls her aside and helps to locate her mother.
Police would not say whether the two drivers would be charged with murder or with traffic offences, the Guangzhou Daily reported.
The maximum penalty for traffic crime under mainland law is seven years' imprisonment, but the death sentence can apply for murder.
Police on Wednesday spent 2 1/2 hours reconstructing the scene using a doll in the alley of the metal-goods market where Yueyue was hit by the vehicles on October 13, the newspaper said.
A tanker truck from the local fire station was on hand to simulate rainfall on the night of the accident, as investigators tried to determine whether it was possible the drivers had failed to see the little girl on the road.
Footage of the accident - broadcast on television and watched more than 1.5 million times on the popular Youku video-sharing site - has horrified mainlanders.
'Yueyue was killed by the indifference of Chinese society today,' a commentary on the website of party mouthpiece Guangming Daily said.
Legal experts blamed a lawsuit in Nanjing, Jiangsu, nearly five years ago.
The case involved a young man, Peng Yu, who helped Xu Shoulan, then 66, by taking her to hospital after she fell while running for a bus.
Xu later sued Peng, demanding 40,000 yuan (HK$48,700) in compensation for her medical expenses. The court ruled that Peng likely collided with Xu and should pay 40 per cent of her treatment costs. The case was settled out of court after the provincial government intervened, but Peng still had to pay Xu more than 10,000 yuan, or 10 per cent of her medical fees, according to reports.
It has sparked a string of controversial cases of elderly people being ignored when they needed help. Legal experts urged the Nanjing court to reverse its ruling in the Peng case.