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September 21, 2010

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Hearing suspended after driver's police call claim

A TRUCK driver who admitted crushing a 12-year-old girl to death and injuring her father in a traffic accident told a court yesterday that he had tried to call police but couldn't get through. Zhabei District People's Court suspended the hearing until this afternoon to check his story. It said that it could affect its decision on what penalty to impose.

The court heard that on the morning of June 18, Zhang, 43, who worked for a Pudong cleaning company, turned right on a red light at the intersection of Yanchang Road M. and Gonghexin Road.

Gu Zhenhuan was riding an electric bike in the non-vehicle lane on Yanchang Road M., taking his daughter, Xinyi, to school.

Gu said he tried to avoid the truck, which was going too fast, but the truck hit the bike and the girl's head was crushed in the impact. She died at the scene. Gu suffered a leg injury.

The pair were rushed to the nearby Shanghai No. 10 People's Hospital where Gu worked.

Traffic police determined that Zhang was fully responsible for the accident.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of causing an accident but argued that he stopped the truck immediately after he saw what had happened in his rearview mirror. He dialed police on 110 but the line was busy.

Zhang's son apologized to the girl's parents after yesterday's hearing and offered to pay compensation of 5,000 yuan (US$745) but they refused, saying that Zhang had never apologized or offered them comfort over the past three months.

The girl was on her way to her primary school to have a graduation photo taken on the day of the accident.


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