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November 24, 2009

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Driver gets 54 months for crash that kills 5

THE driver who caused an accident that claimed the lives of four South Korean women and a taxi driver has been sentenced to four and a half years, a court said yesterday.

Minhang District People's Court determined that Zhang Xia, 25, an Anhui Province native employed by Shanghai Chuangli Mine Equipment Co Ltd, should bear major responsibility for the accident.

In the verdict, issued Friday, Zhang received a criminal punishment because of the significant loss of life.

About 2pm on June 2, Zhang, driving a black Audi at an excessive speed, made a right turn at the intersection of Nongnan Road and Xinzhen Road. A Dazhong Taxi Co vehicle, heading north on Xinzhen Road, swerved to avoid the Audi. The taxi lost control and ran into a No. 173 bus traveling in the opposite direction.

The impact crushed the front end of the taxi, and rescuers had to cut open the vehicle to free victims.

The cab driver and two South Korean women passengers died at the scene. The other two women perished in the hospital.

The front of the bus was extensively damaged, but none of its occupants was injured.

Traffic police decided the three drivers had all made mistakes by driving too fast but that Zhang should bear the major responsibility.

The court said it gave Zhang a relatively light sentence because he remained on the scene and answered police inquiries honestly.


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