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Elderly Driver Mows Down Group of Bicyclists in Shandong

A scene of the wreckage and bodies of the bikers

A scene of the wreckage and bodies of the bikers

From East Red Movement Net:

[Tragic] Yantai Massive Traffic Accident


From: iamgod (西门吹牛), Mail Zone: Cyclone
Subject: Just now in Yantai, a group of bicyclists had a massive traffic accident
Sent: From 水木社区 (Fri Jun 22 17:23:57 2012), privately

A white Lexus was driving on the wrong side of the road against traffic, and mowed down an entire group of bicyclists head on. It’s said that already four people are dead, and several severely injured.

My coworkers and husband are part of this bike club. Fortunately, they have been busy recently, and didn’t participate in this event.

=============================================
From: TheHanged
Subject: Re: Just now in Yantai, a group of bicyclists had a massive traffic accident
Sent: From 水木社区 (Fri Jun 22 18:58:07 2012), privately

There’s a video here.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDE3OTcyOTM2.html

A bus that passed by shot it.

It’s awful…

=============================================
The latest news is that five died and two were injured. Angry emoticon.

On Youku:

The above video quickly accumulated over 2 million views making it to the top of Youku’s most viewed lists over the weekend, and currently has over 8000 comments spread over 268 pages. It was, in fact, just one of many videos uploaded to the video hosting website by Chinese netizens who happened to drive by the scene of the accident that day. The following video, for example, has nearly 1 million views:Comments from Youku:

cdwgz:

No one is covering it here. The local media acts like it didn’t happen.

陈明洲_6443:

Fuck, I’m fucking almost too scared to ride again after this.

政经V新闻:

This whole thing is really an unintentional accident. The offending party definitely will definitely take all the blame, but you can’t tell if it’s a DUI or someone acting out specifically against society. The victims had a lot of people gathered on the road at once, and didn’t have any safety plans or protection. The fact that five people got hit at once with these conditions definitely is important to consider. Nowadays, there are more and more clubs. Group activities like this really need to be more careful.

强哥打酱油:

The local media, daily papers, evening papers, morning papers, the Qilu Evening News, hold fast to party-like principles, with not a single word of reporting. //袁裕来律师: Spread the news! //章海東-Eric: //羅梁AlanLaw: A moment of silence for the dead.

白色巨塔里的猫:

Yeah, I saw this two days ago, but it was an accident, nothing you can do.

xiao-happiness:

Really, just what was this driver doing~ How was he allowed on the road!?

傅靓靓:

Take a look at the Qilu Evening News. Simply inhuman.

漂亮的溺水者:

How fast was he going!!! Shameful, may he be reincarnated as a tire in his next life! [This is sort of pun because “reincarnate” and “tire” in Chinese both end with the character 胎, meaning embryo/beginning of life. 胎, read tāi, is also the transliteration for tire.]

忧乐轩:

There were reports on both Jinan and Qilu radio, it’s just that nothing was said about how it will be handled. I think there was a problem with the driver: Going the wrong way, driving that fast. If it weren’t for the help of street lights and the shrubs on the side of the road, that sucker would’ve gone straight to the south pole! He should be harshly punished! How many families were ruined!

胶州好男儿:

That white Lexus definitely must have a deep background [strong connections]!!! I await the truth!!!

smile_袁毅:

It’s really not that hard, and actually not that difficult to pull off at all. As long as you have the determination, you could do it, too.

子默的快乐禅心:

This is what the lousy media is like, little regard for human life, such bullshit. The Qilu Evening News reported about this for a bit, but didn’t really say anything, such a disgrace.

–雾里看花看海:

Guan Er’dai?? Fu Er’dai?? DUI??

高月宝:

Tragic, the driver should be severely punished. May the souls of the victims rest in peace.

A memorial plaque made for the Jinan Bike Crew
On the 24th, several Yantai city bicycling enthusiasts hung a memorial plaque at the site of the accident, reading “Jinan bikers, safe travels/rest in peace”. Photographed by Zhao Jinyang.

From Southern Net and Qilu Evening News:

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5 Bicyclist Enthusiasts die Yantai crash, the elderly offending driver claims he suffers from vertigo

On the 24th, several Yantai city [in Shandong province] bicycling enthusiasts hung a memorial plaque at the site of the accident, reading “Jinan bikers, safe travels [rest in peace]”. Photographed by Zhao Jinyang.

“If the driver that caused this accident really had vertigo, then his responsibility is even greater,” said a member of one the victim’s families to reporters on the 24th. It is unknown if the driver who caused the accident, already 69 years old, followed the law and went for physical checkups at the doctor annually. If he knew he had a disorder [that prevented him from driving safely] and still drove anyway, then it is possible he was knowingly breaking the law.

“In the next one or two days, the report determining the responsibility for the accident should come out,” says the relative. Looking at the current situation, one can readily determine which party is to blame. The results of the report are easy to predict. “Waiting for the accident report is just a formality at this point.”

The relative goes on to say that right after the accident, the families of the five victims all rushed to Yantai where they awaited the results of the coroner’s report. The families are now physically and emotionally exhausted, and have already returned to Jinan. When the accident responsibility report is released, they will all go back to Yantai to take care of what comes next.

According to the relative, how the aftermath will be handled, including how the driver will be dealt with and the compensation for the families of the dead and wounded, is still waiting on local authorities, and will probably be a while before there are any definite results.

“The law states explicitly, those who suffer from vertigo absolutely may not operate automobiles,” explains one of the people working with the Jinan police. According to the Public Security Bureau’s “Law of Motorized Vehicle Licensing and Use” those who are inflicted with heart disease, epilepsy, Ménière’s disease, vertigo, and other disorders that influence the function of extremities and prevent safe driving may not receive a driver’s license. “If you comply with the health standards and are issued a driver’s license, but develop a condition later, you should apply to cancel your driver’s license immediately.”

“As soon as vertigo is induced, one will lose feeling of position, and won’t be able to distinguish direction,” explains Shandong University Second Hospital’s Head of Otolaryngology Fan Xianliang. Vertigo is actually a condition that impedes the sufferer’s sense of balance. There are many things that can induce vertigo, such clogged blood vessels in the brain, spondylosis, and inner ear disease. Vertigo is also classified in blood vessel, spinal, and ear related vertigo. Of course, vertigo is not represented by loss of reasoning and consciousness. One who experiences vertigo remains conscious of their actions throughout the process.

“He [the driver] claimed he suffered vertigo to the police. If he really had a condition like that, he shouldn’t have been driving, otherwise he’d being endangering the public and knowingly committing a crime,” asserts the relative.

Lawyer Wang Wei of the Shandong Qianshun Law Firm says, the driver can not be relieved of responsibility by blaming his vertigo, because the law is clear on the matter. If the driver purposely hid the fact that he had vertigo [to get his license] and drove anyway, and the accident was really caused by his vertigo, then he definitely has to take responsibility.

The white lexus that slammed into the bikers

Medical bills for the injured was paid for by a collection taken by the biking club

On the 24th I was able to reach victim Mr. Zhao at the Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital. His left calf sustained injury during the accident. On the 22nd he underwent surgery.

Mr. Zhao says, from what the doctors explained, although the surgery has already been completed, it will still be another week before they know if it was successful. If not, it must be done again. Even if the surgery is successful, he will still have to be in the hospital for another month. Furthermore, the balls of Mr. Zhao’s feet currently are suffering from nerve damage. Whether or not this will affect his ability to walk in the future is unclear, but he will not be able to perform dramatic exercise with his feet.

“Right now we’ve already done the bone restoration surgery, but with still have to observe the condition of the skin,” explains Zhao. Currently he is taking painkillers for his leg, so it not so painful. His older brother is in the hospital looking after him.

Zhao explains that on the 23rd the police came to the hospital to give him a pamphlet explaining his rights and obligations as a party in the traffic accident and to ask about his history of illness.

However, Mr. Zhao is more worried about how the police will handle the investigation of responsibility in the accident and case progress. He still does not know the specifics, and the family of the driver has not come forward.

“I hope the related authorities don’t procrastinate, and can get the reparations sorted out as soon as possible,” says Zhao. He has been living in the hospital for two days now and has already spent over 10,000 RMB in medical expenses. These expenses have all been covered by himself and friends from the biking club. The families of the dead and wounded hope they are able to receive the compensation they deserve.

Elderly drivers must submit physical exam reports annually

The police explain, according to the “Law of Motorized Vehicle Licensing and Use,” all drivers of motorized vehicles over the age of 60 must undergo one physical examination a year and submit the physical examination results to a county-level or higher government medical organization within 15 days of the examination. “This law is obligatory, there is no room for negotiation,” explains the Jinan police.

“Looking at the issue from age, the law actually becomes progressively more limiting for drivers,” the police clarify. As the age of the driver increases, the types of vehicle the driver may operate gradually decreases.

Statistics show, as of 2011 October 30, there were 33,105 drivers in Jinan that had their licenses revoked due to failure to submit physical exam results or renew licenses.

However the police also brought up that, having vertigo is like driving under the influence. Although [Chinese] law does not cover it explicitly, in reality the driver knows they are leaving things to chance [when they drive under the influence/with vertigo]. They obviously do not have the ability to drive safely, but still operate motorized vehicles and [eventually] bring about losses and injury to themselves and others that cannot be undone.

Whether or not the 69-year-old driver had submitted his annual physical exam results, the police did not say.

A picture of the driver, Li Peilin

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