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January 24, 2010

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Crash driver jumps to his death

A DRIVER jumped off Shanghai's Yangpu Bridge to his death yesterday afternoon after his car collided head-on with another, injuring three people.

The driver, a local man in his 50s surnamed Chen, jumped 40 meters onto the cement surface below when he was asked by police to show his driving license.

Traffic police said they are investigating why he would jump, as well as the cause of the accident.

The three injured were all in the car travelling in the opposite lane. They were being treated last night at Xinhua Hospital in Yangpu District.

The accident happened about 3pm on the east-west lanes of the bridge.

The black Volkswagen Santana, driven by Chen, hit another black Santana in the opposite lane near the down ramp to Zhoujiazui Road, witnesses said.

Both cars lost control after the smash and cannoned into the bridge's rail. The cars were seriously damaged.

The Santana with the passengers sustained damage to a third of its panels and both bumper bars were dislodged.

Both air bags were activated and seats were bloodstained.

When Chen was asked to show his driving license by police, he suddenly ran away, climbed over the rail and jumped into the gap between the ramp and the bridge, dropping about 40 meters, witnesses said.

Traffic jam

Yangpu District police said Chen was at fault in the accident but his motivation for jumping was unclear.

The accident disrupted traffic on the bridge and in nearby intersections for at least 40 minutes, police said.

It was the second death as a result of an accident on the bridge in less than 48 hours.

A driver was killed when his minibus crashed into a bus in the opposite lane of the bridge about 6:40pm on Friday.

Witnesses said the minibus driver apparently lost control before hitting the oncoming vehicle. The driver was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.

In another accident, there was a six-car pileup on Cao'an Road in Putuo District about 10am yesterday, resulting in a cement-mixer driver being taken to hospital in serious condition, police said.


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