Sat, Aug 20, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Chinese driver not at fault: police report

NOT TO BLAME:The investigation found that the accident was caused by a car crashing into the bus while trying to switch lanes on the expressway

Staff Writer, with CNA

Initial investigations by Chinese police found that the driver of a tour bus filled with Taiwanese that was involved in a deadly traffic accident in China on Monday was not at fault, a Taiwanese travel agency said yesterday in a statement.

Four Taiwanese died and 15 were injured in the traffic accident on the Hunchun-Ulanhot Expressway in Jilin Province in northeast China.

Citing a report by the Chinese police, Lion Travel Service said the accident occurred when a car crashed into the side of the bus while trying to switch lanes on the expressway.

At the time of the accident, the bus was found to be traveling at 94kph, which was below the expressway speed limit of 100kph, the agency said.

Neither of the two drivers were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, it said, citing the police report.

In the case of the bus driver, none of his three cellphones showed any record of calls at the time of the accident, the investigation report said.

Neither did police find evidence of driver fatigue, as the crash occurred only 30 minutes after the tour group boarded the bus, the police report said.

Regulations in China stipulate that bus drivers must take a break of at least 20 minutes after every four hours of driving.

Meanwhile, some of the victims’ relatives are seeking compensation from the Chinese government, Lion Travel Service said.

“Some family members have asked for a specific amount, NT$13 million [US$448,000],” company spokesman Vincent Lin (林承曄) said.

Lin said the Chinese government had rejected the request, saying the accident was a civil matter.

The Taiwanese who received minor injuries and some relatives of those who were killed in the accident returned home yesterday afternoon.

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