In China, Some Drivers Hit to Kill

It costs less money to pay for a funeral than a lifetime of care
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2015 8:50 AM CDT
In China, Some Drivers Hit to Kill
An ambulance runs near the entrance of Laoximen Station Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 in Shanghai.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

In the US, hit-and-runs are not only frowned upon, they're often prosecuted if the perpetrator is caught. In China, hitting and running from the scene leaves open the possibility of being responsible for a lifetime of medical bills, so some drivers who hit then throw the car in reverse to be sure they also kill. A funeral is, after all, far less expensive, reports Slate. And the victims are often children. In what Slate calls one of the most horrific examples, a dirt-encrusted truck knocked down a 2-year-old boy in Sichuan province and though he climbed to his feet and went to grab his umbrella from where it had fallen on impact, the truck reversed and crushed him to death.

Some drivers do serve time. Yao Jiaxin, who hit a bicyclist in Xian in 2010 and returned to stab the injured woman with a knife to be sure she was dead, was convicted and executed, while Zhang Qingda, who hit an elderly man in Gansu province in 2014 and circled around to crush him again, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. But so many drivers get away with these murders that they have grown confident that bribing officials or hiring a lawyer will allow them to escape, and ordinary citizens are so infuriated that some are taking matters into their own hands. One crowd in Henan province beat a wealthy driver in 2013 after he allegedly ran over a 6-year-old twice. But neither the threat of light sentences nor vigilante justice are stemming the tide. (In the States, this hit-and-run has an unusual twist.)

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