Court orders drunk driver who killed 1, injured 3 to be detained

12/28/2021 02:04 PM
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The scene of the accident in Kaohsiung Sunday evening. Photo courtesy of the police
The scene of the accident in Kaohsiung Sunday evening. Photo courtesy of the police

Kaohsiung, Dec. 28 (CNA) A district court has ruled that a drunk driver who plowed into a family of four on a crosswalk in Kaohsiung on Sunday, killing one and injuring three, must be held in detention but not incommunicado.

The Kaohsiung District Court ruled at midnight Monday that the 38-year-old man, identified by his surname Huang (黃), be detained for driving under the influence resulting in death and offenses against public safety, after having received a request earlier that night from the prosecutors office.

After interrogating Huang, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office decided to submit a request for his detention to the court for oblique criminal intent for homicide and suspicion of having committed homicide offenses stipulated in the Criminal Code, according to an announcement made by the prosecutors office at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

In addition, the prosecutors considered him a flight risk who might also engage in collusion.

The district court then determined that there was insufficient proof from the prosecutors indicating that Huang would collude with others in making false confessions or destroy evidence.

As a result, it ruled that Huang must be held in detention but not incommunicado, the court said, noting that Huang's detention will ensure that the investigation and trial will proceed as required.

Huang drove into the family of four with his BMW sedan as they were on a zebra crossing at the intersection of Hedong Road and Guomin Street in the southern Taiwan city's Cianjin District on Sunday evening.

A 37-year-old woman surnamed Fan (范) lost her vital signs at the scene and was later declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. Her 45-year old husband and two daughters, aged 15 and 13, all suffered serious injuries and are still in intensive care.

Huang was tested for alcohol and found to have a blood alcohol level of 1.24 milligrams per liter (mg/l), about five times the legal limit of 0.25mg/l.

Huang had two prior DUIs in 2006 and 2009, respectively, with both incidents resulting in no injuries. He was driving without a license when the accident took place on Sunday, according to Kaohsiung police.

(By Hung Hsieh-kuang, Ko Lin and Evelyn Kao)

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