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Driver accused of role in passenger's death appeals sentence

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2021-09-28 17:12
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A driver for ride-hailing platform Huolala who had been sentenced to prison earlier this month for his role in the death of a passenger has appealed to higher court, ThePaper, an online news outlet, reported.

On Sept 10, the Yuelu District People's Court in Changsha, Hunan province, handed down a one-year sentence, with a one-year reprieve, to driver Zhou Yangchun after he was found guilty of negligence in the death of a female passenger surnamed Che.

According to the report by ThePaper on Monday, Zhou appealed the ruling to the Changsha Intermediate People's Court on Thursday.

On Feb 6, Zhou received an order through Huolala to help Che move to a new house.

When Zhou arrived, he asked her whether she needed his help to move her belongings to the van, which would require her to pay an extra fee, but she refused. Zhou was unhappy, as it meant he had to wait for longer and could not earn more from the order.

After the two set out for her destination, Zhou did not remind Che, who sat in the front passenger seat, to fasten her belt. During the trip, he asked her if she wanted to pay to have him help her unload her belongings after arrival, but again she refused.

Zhou did not follow a route recommended by the platform, opting for another route to save time, and he showed his dissatisfaction with Che when she questioned him about the deviation.

Che leaned her body out of the van's window and asked Zhou to stop, but according to the ruling made by the district court, Zhou, who had noticed she might jump out of the car and be in danger, did not attempt to dissuade her, nor did he stop the vehicle.

Zhou only stopped when Che fell out the window. He then called an ambulance and police.

Che died on Feb 10 in a hospital. An autopsy found that her death was caused by a head injury she sustained from the fall.

Zhou told ThePaper that the whole process, from the route deviation to Che's jumping, took only about a minute, and she was leaning out of his van's window for just three seconds when she fell.

"The time was too short. How could I have foreseen it? I wasn't thinking so much," Zhou said.

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