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August 15, 2009

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Passenger, driver face charge over death

SHANGHAI traffic police said yesterday that both the driver and passenger allegedly involved in a hit-and-run downtown crash would stand trial for vehicular manslaughter.

They said consumption of alcohol was a factor when the car hit two 75-year-old women, killing one and critically injuring the other.

A Shanghai native Wang Dinghhe, 20, was the alleged driver and his friend, Ma Yun, a Jiangsu Province resident and the car owner, should both be held accountable for the fatal crash, police said.

Wang surrendered seven hours after the crash. Police then performed a test on Wang and found traces of alcohol in his blood.

However, this could not be used as direct evidence to support a drunk-driving charge because of the time lapse between the accident and the test.

The two men both confessed to consuming alcohol before the tragic drive.

The accident took place about 6:40am on June 23 on the crossing of Xujiahui Road and Zhizaoju Road in downtown Luwan District.

Ma was scheduled to fly to Germany later that day. The friends got together and partied throughout the night for his farewell, police said.

Cen Xingju and Yang Xiufen were crossing the street on their way to pray at a Buddhist temple when they were hit. Cen was killed and Yang is still in hospital.

Witnesses helped police by providing the offending car-plate license and surveillance video recorded the moment of the crash.

Wang surrendered to police at 2pm that day.

Wang first owned up to being the driver but soon withdrew the confession and named Ma as the driver.

Ma was detained after police found him in a downtown apartment later that afternoon packing in readiness for his flight to Germany, said Liu Shijie, an investigator involved in the case.

Police also found traces of alcohol in Ma's blood.

Knowing Ma was also in custody, Wang reverted to his original confession of being the driver.

Wang allegedly said he was afraid and decided to accuse Ma as being the driver.

As Ma was due to leave the country, Wang thought he would prove difficult for police to trace.

Police said inquiries found that Ma convinced Wang to leave the scene of the accident and thus he should be charged with the same offence.


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