American man killed in Kenting traffic accident

[quote]By Max Woodworth
Monday, Apr 04, 2005,Page 2

An 18-year-old US resident of Checheng, Pingdong County was killed early yesterday morning in a collision that occurred outside Kending where thousands of party revelers have amassed for a holiday weekend.

According to Hengchun police, Kyle Wagster was riding a motor scooter north from Kending at 5:50am when he was struck head-on by a van driving south that had veered into the oncoming lane of the four-lane highway near Nanwan beach. [/quote] … 2003249048

[quote]Yu could face fines and up to two years in prison for vehicular manslaughter, police said, depending on the results of the investigation and whether Wagster’s family seeks to pursue charges in the courts.

Such cases are often settled out of court, police said, after the parties involved reach agreement on compensation.

I feel great sadness for the Wagster family. Any loss hurts, but to lose a child so young with so much ahead of him must be overwhelming.

In light of the scope of the loss and the distinct possibility of alcohol being a factor, but not an excuse, I was taken aback by the wording in the article.


Especially since it was a hit-and-run involving alchohol. The driver waited four hours before turning himself in, but by that point he was already under the legal limit for alchohol consumption.

This is a criminal matter, and the offender should face jail time regardless whether the family pursues charges or not.

This is one area where Taiwan makes me sad to the point of feeling ill. No one stopped at the scene of the accident - due to what I understand to be a fear that the victims family could sue those attempting to help. what sort of society breeds such contempt for human life.

Open the window and take a look. There is that sort. We are floating in it. It all floats down here.

Yup. The driver of the van will get away with it, too.

I think that drunken driving should be prosecuted extremely severely. The guy left the scene of the accident too. I’d give him 20 years regardless of whether the family presses charges. What are they gonna do, wait until the guy kills more people before acting?

It’s not only the locals doing the drunk driving either. A friend’s British husband died while he was driving drunk here about 5 years ago, and he took a couple passengers with him. Left my friend a young widow and her boy fatherless.

Very sad, for this kid’s family.

Yep, it’s definitely not only the locals. I know some of my western friends here have no hesitations jumping on their scooters when they’re plastered. Of course if they’re only riding a scooter they will likely only hurt themselves. No kidding, I know a guy who’s gone through 7 motorbikes here and numerous broken bones.

got hit in almost the same place four years back … waiting for a red, and a drunk slammed into us. the g/f (now wife) didn’t want to press charges, just wanted the car fixed (which was done shoddily).

later we found out this was buddy’s second time. the first time he had killed someone.

if this is the guy’s first time, he’ll be out and driving around again long before two years passes …

The key word is ‘likely’. Another friend of mine got cut off by a crazy scooter and lost control of her car, totalling it. A drunken motorcyclist can still cause accidents for others.

One thing I looked for in the article and didn’t see was the speeds involved, use of a helmet, and whether it was a ‘real’ helmet.

Another old friend of mine was a passenger in a taxi one evening, and was not paying attention (so he didn’t see who caused it) when suddenly a scooter passenger came in head first through the taxi windshield, landing in the right-hand front passenger seat. She was wearing a crap plastic hat. The police grilled my friend trying to get him to finger the taxi driver, but he refused because he really hadn’t seen what happened. I guess the cops dragged him along to the hospital during this process, and he saw the girl being wheeled by with her head swollen to double size, and the boyfriend scooter ‘driver’ walking alongside. My friend asked the guy if she was going to be okay, ta1 hai2 hao3 ma?, and the guy turned, really upset, and said something like ‘does she look okay’? From the sound of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the girl soon died.
I wonder if a really good helmet might not have saved her life. Same goes for the kid in Kending. Real shame.

I’m not sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me, because that’s how it works with some other criminal violations in Taiwan, such as criminal violations of the Trademark Act. I realized DUI and vehicular manslaughter are in a different universe from trademark infringement, but trademark infringement can also be a criminal violation for which the prosecutor owes a duty to the general public, not the trademark owner, to diligently prosecute the crime and put the bad guys in jail. In Taiwan, however, the prosecutor’s office will often turn such cases over completely to the lawyers for the trademark owner, forcing them to try the case, often handling all of the proceedings including the trial without the prosecutor even being present, something that would never happen in the US. Never. A crime is a public violation that is supposed to be prosecuted by the prosecutor. Moreover, if the trademark owner works out a civil settlement with the infringer, the Taiwan prosecutor will almost always dismiss the criminal charges, something else that is never supposed to happen, because the bad guy’s supposed to go to jail for the crimes against society. As I said, I realize a crime like this is infinitely more serious than trademark infringement, but just pointing out that, in case any of us was not aware of it, the authorities here have a habit of shirking their responsibilities and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they don’t prosecute the matter without prodding from the victim’s family.

is the legal system so weak? why cant it be changed? corruption? lack of respect for others? my mind hurts trying to grasp the concept

According to the TT:

  • At 5:50 am the victim was hit head-on by the van driving in the wrong lane and the driver (Yu) and two passengers of the van fled the scene.

  • At 9:30 am the driver and passengers turned themselves in and blood-alcohol test of the driver registered a blood alcohol content of 0.05, well below the legal limit of 0.25.

  • “Because of the long time between the accident and the test, an investigation into whether Yu was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident is still in progress.”

WTF is that supposed to mean? Of course he was DUI at the time. 3.5 hours after the crime he’s still got alcohol in his system. Just by waiting 3.5 hours a .25 could probably drop to .05, but I wonder if it’s occurred to the cops that maybe he voluntarily puked and drank large quantities of water before turning himself in? In any event, I hope they’re not pinning their case on the DUI; it sounds like they’ve got plenty of evidence for a stiff sentence in this case if they want to do the right thing and pursue it.

Two words: public caning. I’ll bet the guy wouldn’t do it twice in Singapore.

Depends what kind of connections he had. There are two rule systems in Singapore. One for the masses, one for PAP fascists :smiling_imp: … 00101.html

You know that and I know that and probably most other people know that, but surely it would be up to the prosecutors office to prove it. How would they do that? I’m guessing they can’t. I’m also guessing that the perp thinks the penalty for leaving the scene is far less than killing someone while drunk.
I just hope he gets taken to the fucking cleaners by the family. And jailed, although I can’t imagine that happening.

Kenting is gangster city. Though, then again, all of Taiwan is. A European friend of mine was driving 10 kms an hour past the McDonald’s one day when, out of the blue, an oncoming scooter suddenly weaved into her path and slammed into the front of her car. The driver died at the scene, and the stench of alcohol was overpowering. The passenger wasn’t killed.

Predictably enough, there were no witnesses to the accident that Saturday afternoon on the main drag in Kenting. At the cop shop the mother of the boy, enraged, demanded 500,000 NT. My friend, astonished, said that not only had she done nothing wrong, but her son was clearly drunk. At this the woman screamed bloody murder–first you kill my son, and then you accuse him of being an alcoholic?

Predictably enough, the police shrugged their shoulders, and suggested bargaining down. My friend understood that the police would do nothing, but the mafia would if they didn’t pay up. They got away with a bill of 100,000 for “killing” someone, and had to move from Kenting.

Kenting seems like a nifty Taiwanese version of a surfer fantasy land, but a more apt characterization would be a corrupt to the core country town that just happens to have a beach and lots of KTVs.

wow. I had no idea it was that bad.

Damn, that was funny. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Alcohol leaves the body at . The police would be perfectly capable of back-calculating the amount of alcohol present in the drivers body at the time of the accident by measuring his blood/alcohol level when he turned himself in. I know for sure they do thisin the UK and other countries.

It is so easy.

They wont do it.