Hit-and-Run Toddler 'Critical'

Bystanders did nothing to help the young girl, prompting scorn from Chinese netizens.
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A still from a surveillance camera shows a man walk past the injured girl without offering to help her.
A still from a surveillance camera shows a man walk past the injured girl without offering to help her.
Photo appears courtesy of Sina Weibo

China's official media have reported that a two-year-old girl injured and left bleeding on the street in a hit-and-run accident is showing some signs of stability, although her condition is still critical.

But in interviews with RFA's Mandarin service, medical staff at her hospital declined to say whether she has suffered irreversible brain damage.

Toddler Yue Yue's accident sparked public fury after street camera footage from her hometown of Foshan showed her being run over twice, as passers-by walked past without helping her.

Warning: This video contains graphic content. The video of toddler Yue Yue's accident has gone viral on You Tube

The accident has prompted legislators in the southern province of Guangdong to consider enacting a law enabling police to prosecute anyone failing to help if another person's life is in danger.

Officials in Foshan rewarded garbage collector Chen Xianmei, who offered to help after the girl had lain there screaming for seven minutes, with 10,000 yuan (U.S. $1,570), according to the official China Daily newspaper.

Both drivers who hit the child say they didn't see her, and the first to run her over has expressed deep sadness and regret to Yue Yue's family, the paper reported on Tuesday.

A health care worker who answered the phone at the Guangzhou Military District Hospital in the provincial capital confirmed that Yue Yue was being treated there.

"I can only tell you that she is in this hospital under treatment," the staff member said.

Asked if Yue Yue was showing any brain functioning at all, the employee replied: "We haven't carried out conclusive tests yet."

Netizen campaign

Chinese netizens launched an online campaign against some of those depicted in the video as looking at Yue Yue lying bleeding and crying on the ground, but doing nothing to help.

Among those targeted for online vitriol was a store owner wearing green clothes seen looking at the child from three meters away and doing nothing.

However, Chinese commentators said such incidents are not uncommon in today's China.

Guangdong-based author Ye Du said the decay in public morals is a side-effect of living under a dictatorship. "As the sole ruler, the Chinese Communist Party has to be biased in a lot of areas in order to hold onto power," Ye said.

"The decay in morals has happened under this system."

Veteran journalist and blogger Wen Yunchao, known by his online nickname Beifeng, said the case of Yue Yue isn't an isolated one.

"I think there are probably many more incidents like this one," Wen said. "Our social crisis has reached a very serious stage."

Hong Kong-based commentator Kay Lam said that people in China today are afraid to stick their necks out, even to help someone in trouble.

"They can't be sure that the police won't turn on them if they investigate the case, and use them as a scapegoat," Lam said in a commentary for RFA's Cantonese service.

"What if the person who ran her over was the son or daughter of a high-ranking official?"

In January, a court in northern China's Hebei province sentenced the son of a high-ranking police officer involved in a hit-and-run road accident to six years in prison in spite of calls for a much harsher punishment after he caused the death of a female student.

Li Qiming's case brought him nationwide notoriety because of his defiant outburst to officials and angry witnesses to the incident: "Go ahead, sue me. My father is Li Gang!" he reportedly told them.

Li's outburst sparked widespread rage and satirical attacks from Chinese netizens. Li Gang was the deputy chief of Baoding's Beishi district police bureau at the time.

Reported by Xin Yu for RFA's Mandarin service and by Lin Yuetong for the Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

Comments (4)

Anonymous Reader

Oh MY GOD... I don't even have children but what is wrong with some people in their heads!! I pray for this little girl that the LORD helps her make a full recovery and the people who seen/hurt this child while she lay there in pain crying for help for her life, let them have a very hard time sleeping at night while they wrestle with their humanity/dignity they lack!!

Oct 20, 2011 03:15 PM

Anonymous Reader

This incident has shown a greater issue in China. Over the past 60 years, the communist government has systematically destroyed the traditional Chinese culture, the spritiual believes, the principles of virtues. They have installed in people minds the communist idealogy of "struggle and fight with humanity". There is nothing to up hold moral value and conscience of society in China today. People will do anything to make money or to avoid responsibility. In people minds, there is nothing but "money, money and money". That's why you see people are indifference even in this kind of situation. I hope this incident will wake people conscience up and they do something about it. More importantly, I hope this little poor girl will gian full recovery soon.

Oct 20, 2011 02:37 PM

Anonymous Reader

Matt, I'm with you. The reason it's gone global is because if it weren't for the video it would be hard to believe that EIGHTEEN people could walk past this poor, poor child. I will never forget her either.

Oct 20, 2011 01:37 PM

Anonymous Reader

It's anguishing to see this; hit and runs happen globally, and are dreadful - particularly in instances of simple carelessness, but it's the subsequent ignoring of the poor girl by the passers by that revolts.

People in London are genuinely confused about how they could possibly have not even called an ambulance - stood by her to protect her from further harm.

If they were trying to avoid involvement, they have trapped themselves in such a tangled web that they are more involved than they could ever have imagined. Even without the camera, this would be so.

I hope to all hope that something changes - seeing this has been something of a life-changing event for me.

And of course, I pray for the little girl's life and soul.

Oct 20, 2011 12:45 PM





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