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Crash driver hails taxi after plunge

A MAN drove his Mercedes Benz off the end of an elevated road early yesterday morning and plunged 10 meters into a construction site.

Workers heard the crash about 3am and saw a car lying on its roof.

"I called the police at once," a worker surnamed Yang said. Yang then watched as a man crawled out of the wreck. "His head was bleeding, but he was conscious. He hobbled to the exit of our site, hailed a taxi and left."

Traffic police found bloodstains inside the car. The roof of the vehicle had been crushed flat. A pungent smell of petrol pervaded the site as the petrol tank had ruptured.

"The construction site had been dug up recently and was full of mud," a worker said. "If the car had hit concrete from that height, the driver might be dead now."

Officers traced the owner of the car, Yang Zhenxin, who lives in Pudong New Area, through the car's license plate.

They also found two driving licenses at the scene, one belonging to a woman called Hu Xiaoxin. Officers initially thought she might also have been in the car at the time of the wreck.

Police found Yang at Xinhua Hospital. He was questioned but could hardly talk because of a serious spinal injury, police said.

Yang said he was the only person in the car. He said he was on Yan'an Elevated Road heading east and drove on to a closed section of the road instead of coming off at the Fujian Road exit ramp.

This section of the road has been closed to traffic since last year and is barricaded. There are large signs indicating the road is closed but the driver seems to have driven through a five-meter gap in the barricades that is there to allow construction vehicles in and out.

The driver then sped straight off the end of the road, breaking through guard rails.

Police said Yang had been booked for 14 traffic violations since November 2007.

The results of a blood-alcohol test are due to be released at the end of this week.


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