Tue, Jul 01, 2003 - Page 4 News List

President's gate crasher freed on bail

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The man accused of driving his car into the square in front of the Presidential Office two nights ago was released on NT$50,000 bail yesterday.

Prosecutors say that 32-year-old Huang Chia-kuo (黃嘉國) drove his new car into the square when he was trying to make a left turn from Ketagalan Avenue onto Chungchin South Road at around 11:30pm on Sunday.

Huang was stopped when he drove onto the ground spikes at the edge of the square and his tires were deflated. prosecutors say.

Military police arrived soon after and brought the situation under control. After initial investigation, the possibility of a terrorist attack was ruled out, prosecutors said.

Huang's mother was with him in the car at the time of the incident. She says that Huang has a history of mental illness and only barged into the restricted area by mistake because he was unfamiliar with his new vehicle.

"I told my son to see a doctor, and he went out with me to search for one but could not find any doctor he liked. On our way home he probably lost his concentration and went off the road," Huang's mother told a Chinese-language newspaper.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office has taken charge of the case.

Meanwhile, a Greyhound bus traveling from Taipei to Taichung on the second north-south freeway yesterday morning crashed into the Shulin toll booth, killing two people.

The accident happened around 10:30 am, when -- according to the Taiwan Area Nation Freeway Bureau -- the bus was speeding and got into the wrong lane.

It then collided with two vehicles before finally crashing into the toll booth.

"The front of the bus was completely ruined. Two passengers were dead when they arrived at the hospital and the driver has fractures in various parts of his body. There were another 11 passengers who were injured slightly," said Cheng Chang-hsing (程昌興), dean of the Taipei County Bureau of Fire Disaster Relief and Care Center.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by police.

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