A senior political adviser in Jiangyan city, Jiangsu, was involved in what seems to be a fatal hit-and-run traffic accident over the weekend.
That has prompted questions about whether abuses of government power or resources are involved.
Chen Wenya , vice-chairman of the Jiangyan committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was seen driving a car bearing a government plate around noon on Saturday.
The car later struck a young woman and her boyfriend, the Modern Express reported yesterday. She died after being sent to a hospital nearby.
Witnesses told the newspaper that the car had hit the duo from behind but did not stop. The woman was thrown forward and the car then drove over her, said a witness, a security guard.
He said the car did not stop until it hit an electric bicycle at an intersection. The driver then left the car and made several calls before being picked up by another car, said the security guard and another witness.
'He didn't even look at the victims or check whether she was dead,' the paper quoted a witness as saying.
Jiangyan police later issued three statements denying that Chen had fled the scene.
They said he had called the hospital and asked that an ambulance be sent. He then called the traffic police and waited until they arrived at the scene before going to the police station in the car that picked him up.
Police said Chen was not driving under the unfluence of alcohol, as a blood test on Saturday afternoon showed no alcohol in his system.
The Modern Express quoted an unidentified source from the Jiangyan Communist Party committee as saying that Chen was heading to a restaurant when the incident occurred.
He was to meet with the restaurant owner and one of the owner's clients.
The source said that Chen had been temporarily suspended from his post, but added that Chen was performing official duties.