Man who ran down robbers gets assistance

Updated: 2011-11-02 08:04

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)

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Man who ran down robbers gets assistance
The wrecked car of Ling Huakun, a citizen in Wuchuan city, South China's Guangdong province, who drove his car to chase robbers in May, but accidentally killed one of the two robbers and wounded another. [Photo/Yangcheng Evening News] 

GUANGZHOU - Authorities in Guangdong province are stepping up to help out a self-employed man who found himself in hot water when - trying to catch some robbers - he accidentally killed one man and wounded another.

Five and a half months ago, Ling Huakun saw two men commit a robbery and immediately drove after their motorbike.

The two men fell off after Ling's car hit the motorbike as he attempted to avoid another car. One of them died after he was sent to hospital.

During the chase, Ling's car also bumped into a 60-year-old passer-by and a small van, and he injured his pregnant wife and son sitting next to him.

Ling Huakun, from Wuchuan city, Guangdong province, had to shell out more than 90,000 yuan ($14,200) for the damage.

Now the local government said some 150,000 yuan has been raised in donations from deputies to the local people's congress and members of the local political consultative committee, as well as from companies, to help Ling out.

Also, local traffic police and judicial authorities will help Ling handle the traffic accident compensation and related judicial procedures, sources with the Wuchuan government said.

Ling, who runs a lighting and electronics store, was initially awarded about 50,000 yuan by the provincial and city foundations and other governmental organizations in June, with a certificate for his bravery.

"Actually, I'm not worried about the financial trouble. I'm still young and have time to make money to offset the compensation," Ling told China Daily.

The first batch of donations only partially offset the amount he had to pay for repairs to his own car and the small van, as well as medical expenses for his wife, son and the 60-year-old man, leaving him at least 40,000 yuan in debt.

"I'm really suffering big psychological pressure from what I did five months ago. My family didn't understand why I did that. I'm just thinking about why my act has put me in such a trouble, both financially and psychologically," he said.

The wife of the robber killed in the accident said she would not launch a legal action against Ling.

"I'm only asking for compensation from him," the 18-year-old mother told the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News, without giving her name. The jobless mother of two lives in a shabby house in neighboring Huazhou city.

Ling's plight has sparked a debate among Chinese people on the issue of helping others, especially after the recent death of toddler Yue Yue, who was ignored by 18 passers-by after being run over twice by vehicles in mid-October in Foshan, Guangdong province.

"If Ling is punished for intervening despite the serious outcome of his act, it will greatly discourage people from helping others," said Liu Xuemei, a teacher with the Guangzhou No 97 Middle School.

Zhu Yongping, a Guangzhou-based lawyer, suggested people in Ling's condition avoid chasing criminals by themselves but call the police.

"The court has the right to reject the lawsuit against Ling. Moreover, the government should set up a special foundation to pay compensation in such cases to encourage people who are willing to help others," he said.

The current regulation to award people for bravery, issued by the Guangdong provincial government in 1998, does not specify who is responsible for compensation if people acting with a just cause unfortunately cause damage to third parities.

"The regulation should be modified. Otherwise, it will trigger many troubles for people who are willing to help others," he said.