The two young women at the centre of the Ferrari crash that killed the son of high-level Communist Party official Ling Jihua have been named.
In its latest issue, Hong Kong-based news magazine Asia Weekly writes that the two young women in the vehicle when Ling Gu died upon impact after crashing his Ferrari were Tashi Dolma (Zhaxi Zhuoma), daughter of a deputy director of the Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department, and Yang Ji, then a student at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, reportedly the daughter of a well-known living Buddha also from Qinghai.
According to Asia Weekly, Yang passed away unexpectedly last month despite showing signs of positive recovery from the serious injuries she sustained in the accident. It is claimed she felt unwell and was given an injection last month, after which she fell into a coma and later died.
The magazine, citing 'informed Beijing sources', claims both the women are ethnic Tibetans and were each 25 years old at the time of the accident.
The accident happened in the early hours of March 18 when the speeding Ferrari smashed into a wall, rebounded and crushed a railing on the opposite side of the road. One naked body and two half-naked bodies were thrown from the wreckage. A half-naked man Ling Gu died immediately while two young women – one naked and one half-naked – were seriously injured.
Photos of the wreckage circulated online and many internet users took it as another drink-driving accident involving the "second-generation rich".
Wild stories began to spread that the trio were playing sex games in the car when the accident took place. Different versions of who was driving and who was in the front and back seats became the subject of gossip in Beijing's corridors of power.
The accident would come to affect behind-the-scenes political jockeying in the run-up to next month’s 18th party congress – which will produce China’s new generation of leaders.
Ling Jihua is considered an important member of Hu's camp and was being groomed to become one of the People's Republic's sixth generation of leaders in another 10 years.
However, in a strong sign that the crash scandal has hurt Ling's chances of securing a seat at least on the Politburo, a reshuffle saw him take over as head of the United Front Work Department, a largely symbolic post.