WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
Video Credit: AsiaWire
The mechanic whose Mercedes killed three people when it ploughed through a cycle lane and then a crossroads could face no criminal charges after claiming he lost consciousness before the incident.
The horrific incident in the city of Changzhou in East China’s Jiangsu Province left a further 10 victims hospitalised on 17th July, with footage of the crash viewed some 30 million times online.
The driver surnamed Xu, 35, was seen losing control of his client’s black Mercedes-Benz SUV at 10:47am local time before mowing down bicycle and scooter riders in a nonmotorised vehicle lane.
Pictures Credit: AsiaWire
Xu proceeded to crash into the junction between Jinling Middle Road and Laodong West Road, injuring a total of 13 people, three of whom were declared dead in hospital shortly after.
A harrowing video showing the inside of the wrecked car revealed Xu’s wife, surnamed Wang, making a frantic call and crying to the person on the phone: “He crashed into so many people!”
Xu, who was returning his client’s Mercedes-Benz at the time of the crash, can be seen unconscious in the driver’s seat.
In a statement given to the police, Xu claimed he lost consciousness and foamed at the mouth before crashing.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
Meanwhile, the authorities have also ruled out drink- or drug-driving.
Zhu Wei, with Shanghai’s Dehe Hantong law firm, told local media the mystery illness that caused Xu’s crash would likely decide the criminal case.
He revealed: “It depends on whether he had a history of illness. If not, and he suddenly fell ill while driving, he would not be found responsible for causing the incident.
“Many would probably find this point of view hard to accept, but if ruled as a ‘traffic accident’, the driver should then not be held responsible, because objectively he was not negligent.
“However, if the individual was aware of a current condition that makes it unsuitable for him to drive, or had in the past been diagnosed with such a condition, then, in my opinion, that could be filed under dangerous driving.
“He should then bear responsibility for any legal consequences.
“Of course, damages would also be paid by an insurance company as long as relevant insurance had been purchased.”
On whether the mechanic’s client would be liable, Zhu said: “From what I’ve read in the limited information released by the police, the car’s owner should not be responsible for the incident.”
Despite potential escaping criminal responsibility, Xu is still expected to face civil liability for the fatal collision, which is still being investigated.
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