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The family of 4-year-old Wang Yiting, who died after a car accident in Linyi, Shandong Province on June 17, claimed yesterday that the driver who caused the accident, a psychiatry lecturer, has been falsely pleading insanity to avoid justice.
The girl’s mother, 35-year-old Wang Yanli, was also injured in the accident and is still in a coma in hospital.
“The culprit was a psychiatry lecturer at a medical school. She took advantage of her professional knowledge and acted as if she was mentally ill,” Wang’s brother-in-law Wang Lewen said yesterday, in a phone interview with the Global Times. “She wanted to evade sentencing.”
The driver, Zhang Yan, was driving in the community where she and the Wang family both live, when she is alleged to have sped up quickly over a space of 100 meters, before hitting the electric scooter carrying Wang Yiting and her mother.
The little girl died in hospital, while her mother was still in a critical condition, according to Tuesday CCTV reports.
In images from a video clip uploaded online, Zhang Yan took off all of her clothes and lay down in front of the ambulance. She dragged the little girl out of the ambulance and pulled at the vehicle’s bumper, in an apparent attempt to prevent the ambulance from going to the hospital. The clip had been played more than 1.73 million times by last night.
“Zhang was clearly aware of what she was doing. She tried to prevent medical staff from saving the injured, so that she had a better chance of not paying their medical bills,” Wang Lewen said.
Zhang also throttled her mother, who was also in the car after the accident and ran to the neighbors shouting “I will kill you,” according to the Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily.
According to neighbors quoted by the Nanfang Daily, Zhang was usually friendly, but behaved strangely before the accident. Zhang was apparently angry after leaving her home and said, “I am so pissed off,” before driving her car.
Wang Lewen said that Wang Yanli and Zhang knew each other, but were not close and hadn’t had any disputes previously. He said that he had talked to her colleagues after the accident, and they said they had not noticed Zhang behaving strangely.
A police officer from the city’s Lanshan district police station told the Global Times that Zhang is under detention and police are investigating, with photos and video being collected from nearby video cameras. Police declined to reveal the results of forensic psychiatry evaluations on Zhang.
Yan Wenhua, a psychological expert from East China Normal University, told the Global Times that it would be difficult for Zhang to fake her mental condition in forensic psychiatry evaluations, even though she is a lecturer on mental health.
Zhu Zhengshun, a lawyer for the victim’s family, told the Global Times that if Zhang had pretended to be insane, and had intentionally obstructed medical staff from saving the victims, she could face serious criminal charges.