Chinese Toddler Victim of Hit and Run Dies

Posted October 21st, 2011 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
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A two-year-old Chinese girl who was run over by two separate vehicles and ignored by bystanders as she lay critically injured has died, one week after the incident that sparked outrage and public debate about morality in Chinese culture.

The hospital in Guandong province that had been treating the girl, known as Yue Yue, said she died early Friday of brain and organ failure.

Closed-circuit television footage of the incident, aired on television and posted on the Internet, showed that at least 18 passers-by walked or bicycled past on the busy market street in the southern city of Foshan without stopping to help the child.

Police have tracked down and arrested the drivers of both vehicles that struck the girl.

Chinese media and social networking sites have been full of sorrow and anger at her death.

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

David Kelly, the research director at the Beijing-based China Policy organization, tells VOA that the case highlights the need to protect people who help strangers in distress. He says many within Chinese society are reluctant to take risks in order to help people they do not know.

Several highly publicized lawsuits in China have ended with such people being ordered to pay large fines.