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February 14, 2011

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Grateful senior traces good samaritan student

AN elderly man who fell in the street and was taken to hospital by a high school student after other pedestrians ignored his plight has tracked down the good samaritan.

At a time when many people are reluctant to come to the aid of seniors for fear of being accused of causing their accident, the 79-year-old local senior, surnamed Yao, was relieved help was at hand.

Yao fell off a bus while on the way to hospital late last month. "I was getting off the bus when I fell next to the wheel," said Yao. "Many people were passing by and I called for help, but no one came to my aid."

"The bus was about to move off and I thought I was going to die."

At that critical moment, a young man pulled Yao by his arm. Yao was too heavy for the teenager to move, so he asked a friend to help.

Fortunately, Yao managed to get out of the way before the bus moved off.

The young man insisted on escorting Yao to hospital, and called a taxi for him when he was ready to go home.

Yao, who was surprised and deeply touched, asked his daughter to find the young man, so that he could thank him in person.

All he knew was that the teenager was a student at Xuhui High School.

After three weeks Yao's daughter traced the student through surveillance video shot in the hospital. Teachers identified the figure as Grade 11 student Ruan Xinchi.

Ruan said he had just actually naturally on seeing the elderly man in distress.

Recently, there has been much online debate on whether passersby should help elderly people who appear in distress. Last year, several seniors died on the street when no one came to their aid.

In Nantong, Jiangsu Province, an elderly woman slipped and injured her neck last November. People gathered around, but no one helped the woman and she died several minutes later of suffocation.

Onlookers said they feared that if they helped her, she may have blackmailed them later on and claim they caused the accident.

This reluctance to intervene has increased since 2007, when a Nanjing native named Peng Yu was blackmailed by a senior he helped.

Gu Xiaoming, a professor with Fudan University, said the case had created a bad influence across the country.


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