The Taiwan High Court’s Kaohsiung branch yesterday upheld a lower court’s ruling and sentenced a man to six years in prison for killing two people, including a pedestrian, when he crashed his car after driving under the influence of alcohol in April last year.
The man, Yeh Kuan-heng (葉冠亨) — satirically dubbed “Master Yeh” (葉少爺) by netizens — received the prison term handed down by the Kaohsiung District Court in November last year.
The court found Yeh guilty of ploughing his Mercedes-Benz into a dumpster truck, driven by Wang Chia-hsiang (王嘉祥), at the intersection of Chunghua Road and Kuangfu 1st Road in Greater Kaohsiung on April 25 last year.
Yeh’s car subsequently hit 47-year-old Lee Hsing-jung (李幸蓉) when it spun out of control and also caused the death of Chen Kang-yi (陳岡逸), one of Yeh’s friends, who was riding in the front passenger seat. Two female passengers riding in the back of the Mercedes, surnamed Lee (李) and Yang (楊), suffered multiple injuries.
The crash brought misery to two families, with the Chen family losing their son, while the eight-year-old daughter of Lee Hsing-jung was orphaned after her father, apparently overcome with grief due to his wife’s death, died four days later after a heart attack.
Yesterday’s ruling said Yeh was exceeding 120kph at the time of the accident, which was the primary cause of the tragedy, while an illegal left turn by Wang was another factor.
Yeh was also drunk at the time of the accident, the ruling said.
Reacting to the latest court ruling, Chen Kang-yi’s father, Chen Ta-ju (陳大儒), said yesterday that “the ruling fails to meet my expectations.”
Kaohsiung Prosecutor Lin Ying-hua (林應華), who is in charge of the prosecution of the case, said Yeh’s sentence is too light and he would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Lin contended that as the site where the accident took place was a pedestrian crossing and Yeh had not yielded to pedestrians his sentence should be increased by half.