Fri, May 25, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Policeman’s role in fatal crash questioned

Staff writer, with CNA

The initial investigation into a fatal car accident involving a policeman and his friend, both under the influence of alcohol, showed the friend was behind the wheel, Taipei City police said on Wednesday, countering speculation that the policeman had been driving.

After reviewing footage from seven surveillance cameras near the scene of the accident, the Zhongshan Precinct determined that the policeman’s friend, a traffic control volunteer surnamed Wang (王), was driving.

An eyewitness had earlier said that the policeman, surnamed Lin (林), climbed out of the vehicle from the driver’s side after the crash. However, the precinct said Lin only did so because the front door on the passenger side was damaged in the collision and could not be opened.

The crash occurred on Monday night, when Wang and Lin’s car made a left turn at a red light from Civic Boulevard onto Linsen N Road.

A 19-year-old college student, surnamed Kuo (郭), who was on a motorcycle and unable to brake in time, crashed into the sedan. Kuo later died from his injuries,

Breathalyzer tests found Wang’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.03 milligrams per liter and Lin’s 0.22, which is within the legal limit of 0.25, police said.

Taipei City Councilor Angela Ying (應曉薇) on Wednesday questioned the investigation. She said officers had allegedly moved the vehicles at the crash scene, and questioned whether breathalyzer tests were taken at the scene.

She also said that police officers who handled the case attempted to influence eyewitnesses when they made their statements.

Prosecutors released Wang and Lin on bail of NT$120,000 and NT$30,000 respectively, for involvement in involuntary manslaughter.

Lin was also given a major demerit by Zhongzheng First Precinct, where he works.

Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said he was “personally not very satisfied” with the NT$120,000 bail, which he said was not severe enough. However, he said he respected the prosecutors’ decision and that his comments were made to draw greater public attention to the dangers of drunk driving.

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