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July 9, 2010

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Driver jailed for 5 years

A POSTGRADUATE student who killed four people and injured six others in a traffic accident was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday by Pudong New Area People's Court.

The court ruled that Pan Jie, 25, didn't pay enough attention to the road and was most at fault for the accident.

More than 30 family members of the victims were in the court for the verdict. They shouted "killer" when she appeared.

Pan was en route to pick up her parents at Pudong International Airport on February 10. Near the Yanggao Road S. Exit on the Middle-Ring Road, she didn't notice a work site ahead and crashed into a group of workers who were installing sound barriers.

Four of the workers died, two were seriously injured and four were slightly hurt.

Pan told the court on June 12 that she had sneezed just before the accident.

Her account differed from what she had told police. She had told officers that she had yawned, rubbed her eye and lowered her head to fix her hair just before the accident.

A surveillance tape provided by prosecutors proved to be key evidence in the trial.

The tape showed a car ahead of Pan before the accident. The driver noticed the work site and changed lanes.

The interval between the lane change of the car ahead and the occurrence of the accident was 9 seconds. Prosecutors thus said Pan had enough time to change lanes.

The court said no obstacles had hindered Pan from taking action to avoid the accident.


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