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August 29, 2009

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Speeding motorist jailed over teen death

A DRIVER in Hangzhou was yesterday jailed for 27 months for killing a teenage girl near a pedestrian crossing on the night of August 4.

Gongshu District People's Court in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, announced the verdict on Wei Zhigang yesterday after he had paid 638,000 yuan (US$93,402) in compensation to the victim's family, Xinhua news agency reported.

The court said Wei drove at 74 to 83 kilometers per hour over the speed limit of 60kph when his car hit Ma Fangfang, 16, about 10 meters from the crosswalk.

Ma, from Linhai City in Zhejiang, worked at a local restaurant. She died an hour later in hospital from head injuries.

The alcohol level in Wei's blood was 0.36 milligrams per milliliter, which is lower than the legal definition of drunk driving at 0.8mg/ml.

The court said Ma didn't walk on the crosswalk so she had to take partial responsibility. The crosswalk where Ma was killed had been widened from 4 meters to 7 meters by the city government after a previous accident in May.

Ma's family had forgiven Wei and pleaded with the court for a lenient penalty.

The country launched a two-month crackdown on drunk drivers on August 15 after a spate of serious alcohol-related traffic accidents.

About 15,000 drunk drivers were caught by last Monday.

The highest number of drunk-driving cases was reported in Zhejiang Province with 3,075 cases.

Shanghai had, up to that time, reported 1,542 cases.


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