An act of bravery by a student in Keelung that was recently made public has made not only the student famous, but also his school and his family.
On Jan. 11, Liu Chiao-ling (劉巧玲), a student at Keelung’s Er Xin High School, was crossing the street in front of her house in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Ruifang District (瑞芳) at 6am when she was hit by a truck carrying chemicals.
She ended up 10m away in the inner lane.
Peng Tzu-en (彭子恩), a second-year student at Nuan Nuan High School, also happened to be crossing the road when the accident happened.
Although the driver of the truck did not attempt to flee the scene of the accident, Peng took pictures of the scene and then called the police.
Worried about the increasing volume of traffic, Peng stood in front of Liu and redirected cars until police arrived 10 minutes later.
Doctors at Keelung Chang Gung Medical Foundation Hospital said Liu had suffered intracerebral hemorrhaging, hepatorrhagia and splenorrhagia — bleeding in her brain, liver and spleen — as well as two broken teeth.
Peng said he wanted to visit Liu after school, but since he did not know her name, he could not find her.
Peng kept silent about the incident, mentioning it to neither his school nor his parents, but Liu’s parents were determined to find out who had helped their daughter.
Liu’s parents asked their nephew to go to the site of the accident and ask people if they had seen anything.
The Lius also applied at the police station to obtain the surveillance footage from a CCTV camera close to the site.
After three days of searching, the nephew ran into Peng and discovered it had been him who had helped Liu.
Liu’s parents then called Nuan Nuan High School to notify them of the incident and also to convey their thanks.
When the school held its matriculation ceremony on Friday last week, dean Hsu Ching-ho (許清和) brought up the incident in front of the whole student body to congratulate Peng.
After Liu was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, a school official drove Peng to the Lius’ home so they could thank him in person.
Liu said she had no recollection of the accident during her first three days in the hospital, and it was only after her mother told her that a male student from Nuan Nuan High School had called the police after the accident that she began wondering if it was the same boy who she always saw waiting for the bus.
When she saw Peng on Wednesday, her suspicions were confirmed and she sat up with difficulty to shake his hand and thank him.
Her parents also gave Peng a red envelope containing NT$12,000 and an iPad.
Peng initially hid behind the school official and politely refused to accept the gifts, but the Lius insisted and thrust them into his arms.
However, Peng’s mother said it was wrong to accept gifts for helping others and took Peng back to the Lius’ to return them.
However, the Lius were adamant that Peng keep them, saying that had it not been for him, something much worse could have happened to their daughter.
Peng’s mother was finally persuaded to let her son keep the gifts.
She said that since they had three children, she and Peng’s father did not have too much free time to raise them, but had tried to teach Peng and his two sisters since they were very young that they should always help those in need.
“We taught them that it doesn’t matter if you know the person or not, you should always do everything in your power to help them,” Peng’s mother said, joking that Peng should have at least mentioned the incident to his family.
When asked by reporters how he mustered the courage to help Liu, Peng seemed not to understand the question and replied that anyone else would have done the same thing.
Additional reporting by Wu Sheng-ju