For the second time in as many weeks, a Chinese driver has been charged with running down a child, and allegedly showed wanton disregard after the incident.
Ao Yong allegedly accidentally hit 5-year old Xiong Aoke as he was walking to school. However, he then reportedly reversed his truck back to run over the child again to make sure he was dead.
Chinese authorities are denying the allegations, but in China, motorists are required to pay hospital bills if they are at fault in an accident and this is why wittnesses initially reported the killing.
Witness Zhang Shi Fen said: "I saw the truck move back a little then forward. Little Xiong became entangled in the wheel of the truck and it continued forward another ten meters."
For the second time in the past two weeks, a heinous disregard for a chld's life life is brought to the world spotlight, this time in the Western Chinese province of Luzhou.
It is said that 35-year old Ao then argued with the family for several hours about the amount of the settlement he would be reuqired to pay for the child's death — while the child lay under the wheels of his truck.
In another incident last week, 2-year old Wang Yue, referred to affectionally by Internet users as Yue Yue, was struck by a vehicle whose driver did not stop, and was then run over a second time by another vehicle. All the while some eighteen passers-by ignored the incident. The two-year-old was pronounced brain dead and died last week as the result of her injuries.
We are reminded of the Kitty Genovese case in 1960s New York, when America itself was called to introspection. Thirty-eight witnesses failed to notify authorities as the 28-year old was stabbed in a courtyard mugging near her home on March 13, 1964.
The condition became known as the "bystander effect," or Genovese Syndrome. Psychologists say this phenomenon is called "the diffusion of responsibility." Perhaps it is now China's turn to do some soul-searching.