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Talk of the Day -- Student insists on compensating accident victim

2012/06/05 17:01:22

A local university student impressed a junior high school teacher by insisting on paying for the damage he caused to her car when he ran into it with his motorcycle on a rainy day.

Though the teacher tried to have him pay only half the repair bill, the Vanung University student insisted on reimbursing her the full amount, a show of integrity that truly moved the car owner.

It was just one human interest story that has gained media attention recently. Other stories include the Chinese blog writer and racer Han Han praising an honest Taipei taxi driver who returned his cell phone to the hotel Han was staying at and a Japanese tourist who unexpectedly retrieved his lost wallet from a Hualien taxi driver .

Below are excerpts of a United Daily News report on the latest heart-warming story that took place in Taoyuan:

The student, Chen Hung-hsin, promised to pay Tang Yu-chih the NT$6,000 she needed to pay in repairs after his motorcycle hit her car from behind.

When Tang, a junior high school teacher, learned that the sum represented half of what Chen makes a month in his part-time job after school and that he owes NT$450,000 in student loans, she decided not to have him reimburse her for the damage done.

But Chen insisted that it was his responsibility to pay for the damage he caused, an attitude that touched Tang.

"At a time when we are seeing so many hit-and-run cases, he insisted on being a responsible person even though he is heavily in debt," Tang said. "He has taught me a lesson, too."

Chen, a senior studying electronics, hails from a relatively low income family from Miaoli. His family's main income comes from his mother, who sells vegetables. Chen works as a swimming coach after school to help with the family's expenses.

On a rainy day in April, Chen damaged Tang's rear lamp when his motorbike hit her car accidentally.

Tang said she saw Chen's hand was bleeding from the accident and decided not to ask him to pay for the damage, but Chen insisted he would pay what was necessary a week later, after collecting his pay.

Tang had a repair shop assess the damage and found out it would cost NT$6,000 to change the lamp and fix the car. She called Chen to ask for just half that amount, considering his financial predicament.

A week later, Chen visited her at her home, leaving a "red envelope" on her table that she did not open until a few days later.

When Tang found that Chen had made good on his word of paying her the full amount, she said she was quite moved.

"We're reading so many stories of young people having the wrong values about money and personal integrity. Chen is indeed a role model," the teacher said.

On Monday, Tang took the money to his school, hoping to return the full amount to him, but he declined.

It was finally decided that the money be donated to a charity organization.

The university's president, Chuang Chang, said he will choose a time to cite the student for his honest and responsible behavior. (June 5, 2012)

(By S.C. Chang)