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Policeman, highway patrolman killed by man in pickup truck

03/01/2024 02:34 PM
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The scene of the pickup truck crash at Badu Police Station. Photo courtesy of a private contributor March 1, 2024
The scene of the pickup truck crash at Badu Police Station. Photo courtesy of a private contributor March 1, 2024

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) A man suspected of having mental issues ran into a highway patrolman and then smashed his stolen pickup truck into a Keelung police station late Thursday night, leaving two people dead and one injured, according to police authorities.

The driver, a 34-year-old man surnamed Chien (簡), was later killed when he was hit by a train at a railway crossing in Keelung after fleeing the scene at the police station.

New Taipei police said Chien stole a pickup truck at around 9 p.m. Thursday at Aodi Fishing Harbor in New Taipei, and was heading toward Keelung on Provincial Highway 62 when he crashed into a heavy motorcycle being driven by a highway patrolman surnamed (劉).

The collision sent Liu down a slope to the side of the expressway, leaving him seriously injured, New Taipei police said.

He was sent to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Keelung to get help, but was later pronounced dead, the police said.

Chien later rammed the pickup truck into the Badu Police Station in Keelung's Nuannuan District at around 10 p.m., which resulted in the death of a 24-year-old policeman Su Yu-hung (蘇昱鴻) and injured another 24-year-old policewoman surnamed Liao (廖), Keelung Police said.

Su was in critical condition when he was rushed to Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and was later pronounced dead, while Liao suffered abrasions that were not considered serious, Keelung Police said.

After crashing the pickup truck into the police station, Chien abandoned the truck and fled, but was later killed when hit by a train at a train crossing in Nuannuan. The police did not say if they suspected Chien decided to take his own life.

Upon learning of the incident, National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Huang Ming-chao (黃明昭) went to the hospital and asked the Keelung City Police Bureau to do all it could to help Su's family with funeral arrangements, the NPA said in a statement issued early Friday.

The NPA will also provide Su's family with financial support in the wake of his death, Huang said.

Chien "committed a heinous crime" that was unforgivable, Huang said.

According to the preliminary findings of an investigation, Huang said the police had found that Chien did drugs, suffered from hallucinations, and showed aggressive behavior, but his motivation for going on his rampage was unclear.

According to the NPA, it has notified police authorities across Taiwan to strengthen security measures and asked all police on duty to pay attention to their surroundings at all times.

It has also asked the Keelung City Police Bureau to thoroughly investigate the case and determine why Chien did what he did as soon as possible.

(By Huang Li-yun, Wang Chao-yu and Bernadette Hsiao)

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