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October 19, 2009

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Angel saves life of CEO injured in car smash

A CHINESE white-collar worker whose English name is Angel saved the life of an Australian expat who crashed his car in Jing'an District by stopping to give him first aid.

Hai Yun, 25, was traveling in a taxi when she hit a traffic jam on Yan'an Elevated Road last Monday. She found Douglas Anderson, the 51-year-old CEO of cable company Nexans China, lying on the road screaming for help.

He'd managed to crawl from the wreckage of his car, which he had crashed into a barrier to avoid hitting a cab that had cut in his path. Although the crash caused a traffic jam, many people just drove around the accident.

But Hai jumped out of her taxi, ran to the injured man, and cradled his head in her lap while she dialed for an ambulance, taking care of him until the medics arrived.

"I was so scared as I didn't know much about first aid and I couldn't speak much English," said Hai, who came to work in Shanghai from Guizhou Province five years ago.

"I tried to calm him down with gestures along with simple English; and I also raised his head so he could get some fresh air."

Anderson asked her name, and she told him her English name, Angel.

"You've got to be kidding, but that's certainly what you are," said Anderson, who was sent to nearby Huadong Hospital with a herniated disk and a leg broken in three places. He is likely to stay in hospital for a few more weeks.

"I owe her my life," said Anderson.

Hai refused to be regarded as a hero.

"I just couldn't leave him dying there and I don't think I helped a lot," she said. "Those who just drove on instead of helping him weren't that cold blooded, they just felt they couldn't communicate with him."

Anderson, who has lived in China for 21 years and holds Shanghai's second-highest honor, the Silver Magnolia Award, found out his savior was keen to learn English. Now he's offered to teach her every Saturday, as soon as he gets out of hospital.

His company began charitable work in 2006, raising 200,000 yuan (US$29,230) to pay for a bone marrow transplant for a young leukemia patient in eastern China's Jiangsu Province and setting up scholarships in the northwestern Shaanxi Province.


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