Sat, Oct 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Driver in crash that left three dead faces charges

CAUGHT ON CAMERA:Hsieh Ya-hsuan said his steering wheel had malfunctioned and denied that he had been racing his friend, who was also taken in for questioning

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei police yesterday transferred 21-year-old Hsieh Ya-hsuan (謝亞軒) to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for his alleged involvement in a car accident that killed three people on Thursday.

Huang Yu-cheng (黃佑呈), 22, is also a suspect in the case, police said.

Prosecutors said that they intend to charge Hsieh with manslaughter and offenses against public safety, among other charges, and have filed a request with the local court to detain him and Huang.

Police said footage from surveillance cameras and the dashcams of other cars showed Hsieh driving a black car at high speed at about 5pm near the Taipei Arena on Nanjing E Road, one of the city’s main artery roads, when he appeared to lose control. The car plowed into parked vehicles, over the sidewalk and into a storefront.

Three people were knocked down. They sustained severe injuries and were pronounced dead upon arriving at a hospital.

Hsieh was found in the car’s driver seat with scratches on his forehead and limbs, investigators said.

A white car was filmed driving ahead of Hsieh.

Huang arrived at the crash scene in the same car, reportedly to check on Hsieh, and was taken in for questioning, investigators said.

They were apparently racing each other and had been driving in a dedicated bus lane, investigators said.

Prosecutors said that during questioning, Hsieh denied racing against his friend, and said that the accident was not due to reckless driving or speeding, but was caused by a malfunctioning steering wheel.

Tests on Thursday indicated that neither driver had consumed alcohol prior to the accident, and samples have been taken from the two to check if they were under the influence of narcotics, investigators said.

Both of their driver’s licenses were suspended due to prior criminal convictions, said Huang Tsung-pin (黃宗斌), a captain at Songshan District Police Precinct.

Hsieh had a narcotics record and in May was caught drunk driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.88mg per liter, which is well above the legal limit of 0.15mg per liter, he added.

An elderly couple surnamed Huang (黃), who worked recycling paper, cardboard and other materials with their truck, and a building security guard surnamed Hsieh (謝) were the three people killed in the accident.

Prosecutors and police yesterday accompanied their family members to the morgue to identify their bodies.

“These two drivers are vile people for committing this crime. They disregarded human life by racing on the streets. Their actions took away three innocent lives and destroyed the two families. We shall never forgive them,” the security guard’s aunt said.

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