Thousands Attend Memorial for Street Racing Victim
On Mother’s Day, thousands of people attended a memorial for the victim of a street racing accident and called for authorities to impose a harsh penalty on the driver who was responsible for the death in southeast China’s Hangzhou city.
The sudden, tragic death of Tan Zhuo, a graduate of the elite Zhejiang University has stormed China for the past few days. Tan was crossing a street in west Hangzhou when he was hit by a red sports car. Tan died on the spot after his body flew 5 meters into the air and landed 20 meters away from the marked crossing where he was crossing the street.
Tan worked as an IT professional after graduating from the Department of Information Science & Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University in 2006. He and his girl friend were considering getting married.
Hu Bin, the driver of the red sports car is a sophomore at the Hangzhou Physical Education College and champion of last year’s F2 car races in Hangzhou. A security officer, who was on duty near the scene, said that there were three cars making very loud noises as they raced through the street.
“His body flew really high after the hit. He was more than 20 meters away from the crosswalk when he landed on the ground,” said the security officer.
He continued, “I did not hear any braking sounds. All I heard was a big heavy thud, and the sports car actually did not stop before driving another 50 meters.”
Many witnesses said that the sports car was speeding at more than 150 kilometers per hour (90 mph), and that the driver did not seem to care at all after his car hit the victim; the driver got out and made some phone calls, and ten or more minutes later 7 or 8 young men drove onto the scene with their Ferrari and Porsche, claiming that they could take care of the accident with their money.
On the following day, May 8, however, the Hangzhou Traffic Bureau’s press release stated that the driver was only driving 70 kilometers per hour at the time, that it was not certain whether the victim was taking the crosswalk, and that the current traffic law did not make any reference to anything related to “street racing.”
Many people were angry at the statement. Consequently, several thousand students from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou residents, and Internet bloggers protested against it and attended the memorial with candles, white chrysanthemums, and banners, calling for authorities to stop street racing and punish the driver.
The local regime has been trying to prevent media from reporting the accident and indicated that all reports should make reference to what was published by the state run media, Xinhua News.
Witnesses said that thousands of people showed up at the memorial and the memorial hall was packed; the line of people showing respect at the wake was so long that you could not see the end; the crowd was sad and many were in tears.
Tan’s family and friends were devastated.
Because of the huge public pressure from Hangzhou residents and Internet bloggers, on May 10, the day the memorial was held, the local regime in Hangzhou finally made a public announcement that it will investigate the accident and impose the law accordingly.