Wed, Nov 01, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Allegedly drunk highway patrolman kills motorist

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

National Police Agency Director-General Hou You-yi (侯友宜) yesterday said he was upset about a case in which a highway patrol officer, who was allegedly drunk driving while on duty, rammed his patrol car into a motorist, killing him instantly.

The accident took place on the south-bound lane of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway, near the Taoyuan-Nankan Intersection.

The motorist, Pan Chin-ying (潘晉穎), had pulled his vehicle to the side of the road and gotten out to repair a flat tire.

Highway Patrol Officer Chang Cheng-lung (張城龍) rammed into Pan's vehicle while Pan was changing the tire. The accident killed Pan instantly.

When police arrived at the scene, they administered a breath-alyzer, which Chang failed.

Chang told the investigating officers that he failed the breathalyzer because he had eaten ginger duck before going to work.

In addition, he told police, he lost control of his patrol car because a truck had hit him from behind.

Unfortunately, he said, the truck didn't stop, so he did not have a chance to write down its number plate.

Chang has been charged with drunk driving, and was released on NT$15,000 bail.

Hou has asked his fellow officers to treat the case as a potential homicide.

"I have talked to highway patrol Captain Chen Tzu-jing (陳子敬) and asked him to figure out what happened as quickly as possible," Hou said.

"In the meantime, I have asked forensic department experts to help with the case as well. We owe the victim's family and the public an explanation," he added.

Hou made the remarks when he was approached for comments on the case. He said that he was very upset about the highway patrol's attitude when handling the case.

"If our own officer deserves punishment, I want to make sure that he will be punished," he said.

In addition to conducting forensic analysis of the accident site, senior inspectors and officers from the Traffic Section and from the Criminal Investigation Bureau have established a special task force to carry out the investigation.

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