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October 24, 2009

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Driver surrenders -- 10 years after fatal accident

IT has been a long, lonely and guilt-ridden 10 years, but a truck driver who killed an elderly pedestrian in a Shanghai accident has finally surrendered.

The driver, surnamed Wang, is out on bail and awaiting sentence.

His conscience drove him to face the music and he also missed his son, who was just seven when Wang fled Shanghai.

Wang was driving a truck loaded with building material on a rainy night in July 1999 when he hit the pedestrian at the junction of Guangzhong Road and Dalian Road W. in Hongkou District.

He stopped the truck after the accident and after one of his employees made sure the man got to hospital, Wang called police before fleeing.

When news came through that the man had died in hospital, Wang, 30 at the time, decided to leave the city and begin a life on the run.

The day after the accident, Wang returned to his home in Jiangsu Province where his family members pleaded with him to surrender.

Their pleas fell on death ears.

Zhao Lifen, an official with Hongkou traffic police, said Wang must take full blame for the accident because he fled. "If he had stayed at the scene, he may have only been found partially responsible," Zhao said.

In the past decade Wang moved from city to city -- places such as Nanjing, Jurong and Zhenjiang.

He had to change jobs from time to time, fearing that he would be identified.

To escape police attention, he seldom contacted his family.

However, he called his younger brother in 2006.

"He told me that my mother had died," Wang said. "I just cried in a place where no one knew me."


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