Chinese man killed in car crash

Updated: 2014-05-06 09:48

By CHEN JIA in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

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With an improving standard of living comes a continuous rise in the number of Chinese who travel overseas — for study, tourism or business.

But the number of accidents involving Chinese nationals overseas has also increased, particularly among youths overseas for study.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, a Chinese student living in Temple City died in a car crash driving a newly purchased Ferrari 458 Italia at a major Monterey Park intersection in California.

Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt Joe Bale confirmed that the driver was 21-year-old Fu Duan.

He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened sometime after 2 am at Garvey and New avenues.

A passenger in the car was sent to the hospital in critical condition. Though definitive description of the injured person was not officially available, sources say it was a relative of Fu.

The driver of the Hyundai Accent that collided with the Ferrari was also hospitalized in critical condition. The 28-year-old driver identified as Omar Placencia was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.

"The (Hyundai) collided into the driver-side of the Ferrari, fatally injuring the driver," Montebello Police Sgt Brent Archibald told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

The Tribune reported the speed of two cars was still under investigation and authorities had not yet determined which car had a green light when the collision occurred.

The coroner will perform an autopsy on Fu to determine if any substances were in his system at the time of the accident, the Tribune reported.

In another unrelated case, a Chinese student who crashed a newly purchased Mercedes-Benz into another car, killing the driver and injuring three people in the State of Washington, pled guilty in February.

The case triggered broader discussion when his mother paid $2 million bail for him last March.

For Chinese students headed for higher education in the United States, safety concerns are becoming a top priority for their parents as most of them are the only child in the family.

"It was very complicated decision to write a check for my son who wanted to buy a BMW several months ago," a Chinese father who sent his son to study in California told China Daily but declined to be named.

"I was told a car is a necessity for Americans as public transport is not very convenient, so I was persuaded to buy him a pricy new car in hopes of guaranteeing better safety," he said.

Increasing numbers of Chinese students are in the market for luxury cars in the US as the number of students from China enrolled in US colleges and universities reached 235,597 last year.

Although most incidents involving overseas Chinese students are isolated cases, luxury cars are frequently highlighted in media reports and trigger social debate in China after they are translated into Chinese.

"Young students drive luxury cars and speed on the roads. These information fragments are twisting the image of overseas Chinese students," Cecilia Zhu, a Chinese student in San Francisco, told China Daily.

"Most of us drive cautiously, as we know we are the only child in our family," she said.

In China, the annual average of loss-of-a-single-child families is 76,000. If Chinese parents lose their only child in an unexpected tragedy, they usually are too old to conceive again.