Chinese toddler left for dead in hit-and-run crash dies
- 21 October 2011
- From the section Asia-Pacific
A two-year-old girl in southern China, who was run over by two vans and ignored by 18 passers-by, has died, hospital officials say.
Surveillance camera footage showed people walking past the girl as she lay bleeding and unconscious.
It sparked a wave of condemnation and soul-searching on China's social networking sites.
Doctors had earlier said Wang Yue, who had been in a coma since the incident on 13 October, was unlikely to survive.
Police have detained the drivers of both vehicles involved in the incident, which happened in the city of Foshan in southern Guangdong Province.
Wang Yue was knocked down by a van while wandering through a market, where her parents run a shop. The driver sped off without checking on the girl's condition.
Over the following minutes, 18 people walked past the bleeding toddler, and another van ran over her legs, but no-one stopped to help.
The distressing footage was shown on television.
A rubbish collector who finally moved the toddler to the side of the street was hailed as a national hero, but the incident led many online commentators to question the state of Chinese morality.
A spokesman for the hospital told the AFP news agency that Wang Yue had died of "systemic organ failure", adding that no expense had been spared to try to save the girl, whose parents are migrant workers.
There have been millions of internet comments about how to encourage good Samaritans - and many more expressing outrage that so many people refused to help.
Her death was one of the most remarked on topics on China's Weibo - a micro-blogging site similar to Twitter - on Friday as people expressed sorrow and anger over the incident.
"Farewell to little Wang Yue. There are no cars in heaven," wrote one micro-blogger.
Guangdong province is debating the introduction of a law to force people to help others in obvious distress.
Initial online polls, though, suggest most people are against it.
"Talk about being civilised first. Is anyone paying attention to that?" read one posting.
Organisations in Guangdong are also looking at other ways to encourage people to act with compassion when faced with an emergency.
The provincial government's political and legal affairs committee is using its micro-blog site to gather opinions about how to "guide brave acts for just causes" and promote "socialist morals".
Several commentators have linked the failure of the passers-by to help with high-profile cases in which residents who stopped to assist people in distress were later held responsible for their plight.