Thursday, October 20, 2011

China Toddler Hit-and-Run Video

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Gruesome footage of a China toddler falling victim to two successive hit-and-run accidents and then being ignored by many passers-by at the scene last week in southern China continued to galvanize the nation Monday, prompting a fierce debate on the state of morality in Chinese society.

A security camera captured the horrific incident last Thursday outside a hardware market in Foshan, Guangdong Province.

Two-year-old Wang Yue was seen toddling in the middle of a narrow street and looking around, oblivious to a fast-approaching white van.

The disturbing video shows the van knocking the girl over.

The driver briefly stops with the girl underneath the van, before continuing on, its rear tires slowly rolling over her small body.

The girl is left barely moving in her own blood as several pedestrians and cyclists pass by.

Minutes later, another small truck drives over Wang without slowing down, the video shows.

More passers-by walked, cycled or drove around her motionless body without stopping - until a woman carrying a sack appeared 10 minutes after the initial collision.

Dropping her sack, she quickly moved the girl to safety and went to look for help.

Wang remained in critical condition Monday afternoon in a military hospital in the nearby city of Guangzhou, her father told CNN.

"I'm still so worried," said Wang Chichang, who runs a hardware store in the Foshan market, as he waited for updates from doctors.

At the time of the accident, Wang was busy tending his shop while his wife was hanging laundry, and neither noticed their daughter had wandered outside, state media reported.

"I feel helpless and angry," the father said. "Had one passer-by stopped to help earlier, this whole thing wouldn't have been so tragic."

Police have caught and detained both drivers, state media reported. Wang, the father, told CNN that the van driver had earlier called to offer the family money, but refused to turn himself in.

The heroine in the video turned out to be a 58-year-old scavenger named Chen Xianmei.

"Blood was coming out her nose and mouth," Chen told local reporters. "I didn't understand why no one else had carried her from the street."

In emotional video posted online, the girl's wailing mother bows on her hands and knees, her forehead resting on the ground at Chen's feet - a symbol of extreme deference to show the family's deep gratitude for her daughter's rescuer. The mother is inconsolable as loved ones lead her - her body as limp as a rag doll's - from the scene.

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