I’ve debated for days whether to bring up the story of Yue Yue, but it seems hard to write a blog about life in China and then to ignore this tragic story, just like the people who ignored her in her time of need.
Two year old Yue Yue was separated from her mother and hit by a passing minivan. The driver of the van just continued driving. That alone is a shocking story but there’s so much more to follow. Video footage of the accident shows that immediately following the accident, several passers by walked passed the injured, bleeding baby. They did not call an ambulance, they did not stop to assist her. They did not pull her out of the middle of the street where she could have been hit again by other passing vehicles. And then well, she was hit again by another passing vehicle.
People continued to pass by and ignored her as she lay in the street. Not just one or two people but 18 passers by. Eventually, one woman did stop and pulled Yue Yue to one side away from passing cars just before her distraught mother comes running having discovered her daughter had wondered off.
One of the reasons I’m late to post this is because just hearing the description of what happened made me feel quite sick inside and I couldn’t bring myself to view the video footage. Until today.
You have to wonder what went through the minds of those who passed by and did nothing. They clearly saw her because some of them deliberately walk around her. There have been many explanations offered. Some say people are afraid to stop and help because they worry they might be blamed for the accident and have to pay compensation. Others have been more critical, suggesting that the country is sick or broken, and people are just so self-centred and only care about their own well being.
It doesn’t paint a flattering image of the Chinese, although for those of you outside of China, I should mention that most people I know are truly shocked and outraged by this story in the same way they are abroad. But the fact remains, the mentality of many here is to not get involved to protect themselves at all costs. I really hope that mind set changes.
If you think that’s the end of it well there’s just one more twist. A man has been arrested for pretending to be one of the drivers who knocked down little Yue Yue in the hope of becoming famous. The man called Yue Yue’s father, claiming that he had ensured both sets of wheels went over his daughter, as he feared being burdened with high medical bills if she survived. He later admitted to police he did it to attract attention.
Yue Yue died 9 days after the accident. May she rest in peace.