Relaymedia

Chinese Toddler in Hit and Run Video Dies: Wang Yue's Death Sparks Discussion Over Moral Values

( [email protected] ) Oct 23, 2011 06:03 AM EDT
The two-year-old Chinese girl, Wang Yue, who was run over by a car and ignored by 18 passersby without anyone saving her, even as the second car drove over her legs, has passed away in a hospital Friday.
The two-year-old Chinese girl, Wang Yue, who was run over by a car and ignored by 18 passersby without anyone saving her, even as the second car drove over her legs, has passed away in a hospital Friday. AP

The two-year-old Chinese girl, Wang Yue, who was run over by a car and ignored by 18 passersby without anyone saving her, even as the second car drove over her legs, has passed away in a hospital Friday.

The child died of brain and organ failure, the Guangzhou Military District General Hospital said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

"Her injuries were too severe and the treatment had no effect," hospital officials reportedly told reporters.

People across the globe were shocked by the video (shown below) spread on the Internet Tuesday, which shows Wang being hit by a white van and lying on the street in a pool of blood while more than a dozen people pass her without even stopping. Eventually, a woman who was later identified as a local trash collector moved Wang to the side of the road, saving her from further injuries.

Based on the video, the woman appeared just in time, before a large blue truck passed the road. As Wang lay on the street bloodied, her body massacred, it seems probable that the truck would run her over the third time, possibly ending her life then and there, in the dirt of a market street in the Guangdong province.

Media outlets across the globe were again responding with anger and grief, this time to the news of Wang's death.

"Rest in peace, we are praying for your soul," a user wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to Wang, who was nicknamed by the media Yueyue or Little Yueyue.

"My heart sank seeing the video in its entirety. The van continued forward upon striking her the first time knowing they ran over a child," a reader wrote in a CNN.com forum. "It is unthinkable, callous, apathy at its worst. She sustained some serious injuries when the rear wheels rolled over her torso, not to mention the truck that ran over her legs 8 minutes later. To watch passerbys [sic] on foot, on motorcycles, and in vehicles look and leave her there is repulsive."

"How could he not see her! But he did know he ran over something! Why was she not being looked after. She had to be crying or moaning! Only a GOD LESS person do as they did [sic]," a netizen wrote on the Facebook page.

As The Christian Post reported Tuesday, the incident sparked a debate in China about the level of sensitivity to human suffering. According to Xinhua news agency and multiple online commenters, the strange behavior of passersby is to be blamed on precedents in Chinese law, which often goes against the Good Samaritan who tries to help another human being.

There have been cases in China where the person who decided to help another human in distress ended up being accused of causing the injury. That is why, according to multiple sources, Chinese people became very cautious, and they are often unwilling to be the ones to help a needy person. Commentators on the event have spoken of fear caused by the law, which reportedly causes this emotional numbness.

In addition, China does not observe Good Samaritan laws, which protect those who help others in distress in most parts of the world.

The death of Wang left her parents mourning.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, Wang's father gave an interview on Chinese television after the incident.

"What's up with people these days? They make so many excuses to turn a blind eye. The society is so indifferent, so heartless," he reportedly said on air, weeping together with his wife. "Yueyue is so lovely, often amuses us. Sometime if I quarrelled with her mother and if her mother cried, she would tell us not to cry, she always tried to amuse us."

The paper reported that the man did not want to respond to the moral debate. He reportedly replied that he would pray for his child's survival.