A disturbing video that has gone viral starkly displays the apathy of bystanders towards accident victims, resulting in the death of one more victim.
- Pedestrians walked by
- Motorists slowed down
- Not a single person went to help the victim
A woman in Henan has died after being run over twice. Footage showed her being run over once, then again about a minute later, as pedestrians stood by and failed to act.
On Wednesday, a Weibo user posted a shocking video of an accident that occurred on Apr 21.
It showed a woman, identified by police with the surname Ma, standing in the middle of a road at a crosswalk at night. A vehicle that appears to be a taxi ran over her and drove off without stopping.
The incident happened in front of pedestrians waiting to cross on both sides of the road, but nobody did anything.
When the flow of traffic stopped, the pedestrians crossed the street without going to Ma’s aid. One bystander appeared to make a call on his phone as vehicles continued to drive past the victim. At one point, she briefly lifted her head while lying helpless on the road.
About a minute after she was first hit, another car ran over Ma again! The driver stopped a few metres away and walked towards Ma as the video ended.
Warning: video may be disturbing to some viewers
Police said Ma died on the night of the accident, and two drivers were detained the next morning.
The footage triggered an uproar on social media in China, where onlookers are often reluctant to intervene. Many users commented on the video, expressing shock and anguish, and condemning the apathy of the bystanders.
One Weibo user said: “I want to know what happened to this girl. Did they catch the first driver who hit her? Did anyone take her to the hospital afterwards? So sad, a live person being ignored just like garbage.”
Another person lamented: “God, what is wrong with this society? What would I do if I were at the scene? I would at least first stop all incoming cars, stand near the woman and call the fire station and police.”
Sina Weibo microblogger Yuan Qicong wrote: “This video, watching it makes me want to cry, I already have no strength to be angry. The way of life on China’s roads is hell.”
The top comment on the video, which received over 80,000 “likes” as of Thursday night, said: “The most caring ones are always the netizens, the most indifferent ones are always the bystanders. I don’t know if it’s the netizens who don’t go out on the street, or if it’s the bystanders who don’t go online.”
According to the police, more than a dozen people called the emergency hotline to report the incident but no one attended to the injured woman lying on the road.
The “bystander effect” is partly a result of the lack of legal protection and some cases of extortion by “victims” pretending to be injured.
In a notable 2011 case that horrified the world, a two-year-old child, Wang Yue, was run over by two separate trucks as more than a dozen people passed by without helping. She was finally rescued by an elderly garbage collector but died a few days later.
China is moving towards nationwide legislation to protect those who try to help in an emergency from being held liable for accidentally causing injury. It recently added a “Good Samaritan” provision in the preamble for the country’s first unified code of civil law, which is expected to be passed in 2020.