At 11:25am on Saturday the 19th, a 19-year-old woman was run over by a truck going in reverse, which then backed over her body two more times. The incident occurred near the Buji long-distance coach station (布吉客运汽车站) in Shenzhen’s Luohu district.
The truck’s driver, who was at the station to buy a ticket for himself, hadn’t seen the woman (who was distracted at the time, drinking a can of Wonglaoji herbal tea) in his rear-view mirror. The truck was used for the transport of electric scales.
Despite being yelled at by a security guard after running over the woman the first time, the truck’s driver methodically backed up over the woman, before then getting out of his vehicle to inspect his crime, only after two other witnesses rushed over to check on the woman.
The driver is currently in police custody.
The phenomenon of drivers responding without any ethical sense after accidentally hitting someone is quite prevalent in China, with reactions often being a simple cost-benefit analysis.
A driver who ran over Yueyue, the Shandong toddler living in Foshan whose tragic death made world headlines, was quoted as saying:
“If she is dead, I may pay only about 20,000 yuan ($3,125). But if she is injured, it may cost me hundreds of thousands yuan.”
We will refrain from saying that something particularly evil must be going around in the Cantonese water, for all these massive failings of compassion to be occurring.
To do so would be to localize and unnecessarily demonize a specific region of China, when in fact the problem has already proven to exist elsewhere–a small boy was hit by a BMW SUV last year in Jiangsu, and was run over three more times before the vehicle’s driver got out of the car and walked away.
For China, the problem of mass indifference to the suffering of others, and the subsequent soul-searching that took place after the death of Yueyue, won’t be abiding anytime soon.