Related News

Home » Nation

Drunk driver may face death verdict

A DRUNK driver who allegedly caused the deaths of five people in neighboring Jiangsu Province may face the death penalty, according to a lawyer.

Zhang Mingbao, a civil engineering project manager, has been detained over the deaths and the injury of four others in a wild driving spree on Tuesday night in Nanjing, Jiangsu's capital.

Jia Zhenghe, president of a Nanjing-based law firm, said Zhang's hitting of the first victim was vehicular manslaughter but his fatal hit and run later should be considered as a crime endangering public safety and the highest penalty could be the death sentence, Yangtze Evening News reported yesterday.

A pregnant woman was one of five people killed. Though doctors tried to save her unborn baby, the fetus died.

Zhang's blood alcohol level was nearly four times over the legal limit, police said.

Zhang told police he had consumed some wine on Tuesday night and drove home along Jinsheng Road. The car went out of control, smashing into nine pedestrians and six parked cars.

"I feel as if I am a butcher. I'm so sorry for them and so afraid now," Zhang told police. He said he would try his best to compensate them, even selling his cars and house.

Zhang has three other cars. He got his driving license on May 2006. By April this year, he had been reported for more than 80 traffic offences, 39 for speeding.

Zhang is a construction team boss and lives in Jingang Garden near the scene. Although Zhang has been heavily criticized by the public, his neighbors say he is a good man.

Neighbors say Zhang and his wife are honest, their son is well educated and Zhang works hard. His only fault was being addicted to wine, an elderly neighbor said.

Zhang could face the death penalty if charged with endangering public safety through dangerous means, lawyer Rao Fengbin and professor Zhang Fuyou from Nanjing University agreed. The minimum penalty for this crime is 10 years' jail.

But if he is charged with dangerous driving, he may receive a prison sentence of up to seven years. So far police have not said for which crime Zhang has been detained.

He faces a payout of at least 2 million yuan (US$292,770) in compensation, another lawyer, Dong Yunchun, said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend