Televised Hit-and-Run Sparks Outrage Across China

Posted October 18th, 2011 at 3:35 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese media are filled with soul-searching and recriminations over the case of a 2-year-old girl who was run over by a van and left bleeding in the street by bystanders until she was run over again.

The child, identified as Wang Yue, is in a coma at a hospital in southern Guangdong province and doctors say she is unlikely to recover consciousness. Police say both drivers have been tracked down and placed under arrest.

Much of the anger, however, is directed at 18 or more passers-by who can be seen on closed-circuit television walking or bicycling past without helping the child. The video has been viewed online by more than 2 million people and Chinese microblogs report more than 4 million comments on the incident.

The girl's mother, a migrant worker in Foshan city, has appeared on local television appealing for help.

She says she just wants her daughter to get well.

The girl's father says one of the drivers contacted him before he was arrested.

The father says the driver told him he was willing to give him money but would not turn himself in because he didn't want to go to jail.

Many online commentators say China has become too cold-hearted in its rapid drive for economic prosperity.

Others say the case highlights the need for a law to protect people who help strangers in distress. Several highly publicized lawsuits in China have ended with such people being ordered to pay large fines.