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January 29, 2010

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Driver who killed seven begs for mercy

A TRUCK driver knelt in court to beg forgiveness while standing trial for a crash that killed seven people and injured one in Beijing last July.

Driver Liu Ping bowed to the victims' families and said he was sorry as soon as he was brought into Chaoyang District Court. He pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, reported Beijing Times yesterday.

Family members of Liu's victims said they could not accept his late apology and would not allow the court to show any lenience.

They are claiming 6.4 million yuan (US$937,596) as compensation from Liu and the logistics company he worked for. They will file a separate lawsuit to claim compensation.

The 24-year-old driver from Shandong Province confessed that he was driving a truck registered outside of Beijing, which was not allowed on the Fifth Ring Road, when he braked to avoid another car. His truck rolled across six lanes of traffic and totally crushed four cars.

He faces a maximum jail sentence of seven years.

His lawyer said Liu had only worked for the logistics company for three days and was not aware of the license-plate ban.

Liu confessed in court that he had drunk a bottle of beer before the accident, although prosecutors did not press charges on drunk driving.

He told judges that he didn't know what had happened when he braked and tried to turn to avoid another car on July 28 last year.

The crash paralyzed traffic for two hours after the accident.

Liu's lawyer noted that Liu called police himself after the accident and helped to rescue trapped drivers.


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